What a journey it has been, I created this blog as an outlet to discuss leadership and strategic communications. The past nine weeks have brought so much understanding as I grow professionally. Two lessons from the past nine weeks that were impactful are centered around being an effective listening and the emergence of opinion leaders in the age of social media. Communication is vital to any interpersonal relationship, and before discussing the topic in-depth, I did not fully grasp its importance.
Dr. John A. Kline outlined three practical suggestions that intertwine for improving communication in an organization: encourage feedback, listen effectively, and reduce communication misunderstanding. Promoting feedback from subordinates is constructive criticism to identify what areas need improvement. A strategic communicator must also listen effectively to receive and understand the messages conveyed. When listening to the feedback of a subordinate, leaders in strategic communication must be careful not to make assumptions about how and what is said—doing this will reduce communication misunderstandings which often arise when a leader does not ask for clarification in times of misunderstanding. Insightful feedback, sincerely listening to digest what is said, and reducing communication misunderstanding are strategic methods every anyone can use to improve communication in their organization.
Influence and opinion leaders continue to come up in a discussion around strategic communication. The existence of social media makes it easier for someone to be an opinion leader. As various social media platforms become the primary source for opinion leaders to influence the masses, there are a few things I have learned as a result of discussion this term. You are not restricted to the biases and limitations of traditional media outlets through the use of social media. Traditional media outlets are ran by large corporations such as VIACOM, and few stories get coverage across the networks. With the use of social media, you are your representative and can distribute any information that has importance to you. Countless social media platforms like MySpace come and go or evolve into a larger entity as Facebook has. The algorithms used by platforms like Facebook and Instagram create avenues for opinion leaders to receive more engagement, increasing their follower base.
What does all of this mean for brick and mortar stores and what lasting impact will influencers (both micro and macro) have on the everchanging consumer market?
Until next time.... this strategic communicator is signing off!