Monday, August 3, 2009

First, do no harm

I’ve worked in Healthcare for over 16 years, so it seems appropriate to link what is considered one of the fundamental principles of emergency medical care to social media.

We have all heard (at least a thousand times) that the first rule of social media is to listen. Listen, so that once you leap into the fray you will have a better feeling for what is going on, for the netiquette, so you “do no harm”.

About 20-25 years ago (yes I’m that old), I was a member of a local chapter of a trainers association. During one of the meetings there was a seminar on listening. The presenter detailed what he called the H.E.A.R. method of listening. It is very applicable to all social media and it goes as follows:

1. Hear

a. Listen to the person who is speaking.

b. Listen carefully

2. Empathize

a. Put yourself in the speaker’s shoes.

b. Keep in mind the saying, “Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes”

3. Analyze

a. Think about what the speaker has said.

b. Take into account “where they’re coming from”

c. Determine what the speaker’s goals might be and any underlying meanings, if applicable

4. Respond

a. Reply to the speaker taking everything you synthesized so far into account.

b. Make sure your response is Constructive, Meaningful, and Thought out

Series of 5: Parts 2, 3, 4, 5

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