Executive Coach’s 3 Twitter Rules

We tend to look through language and not realize how much power language has.
– Deborah Tannen

Twitter is a resource waiting to be mined for precious gems. It is a way to meet people you may never have met any other way. A place to connect with others with similar interests. A place to get your questions answers, find resources, and have great conversations. It’s where I go for my daily news, innovative ideas, inspiration, and recommendations for people – products – services – everything! But it is only a tool.

The real power is in the language. Only 140 characters of language that can determine our character online. It is 140 characters that can make or break our reputations online and off. Though twitter may be like a party for some, it is still open and available for everyone to see (assuming you make your tweets public). Why would your communication rules of engagement be any different here than in your office, or at a professional networking meeting?

Have you done a search on yourself lately? Do it now. Take the perspective of a client, investor, or potential employer. Those off-handed or ‘out of context’ remarks may be hurting you.  From now on, keep these guidelines in mind.

Executive Coach’s Top 3 Twitter Rules for professionals

1. Mind your manners. We learned this before we stepped foot in our first classroom. Mom and Dad taught us to say please and thank you. 140 characters is enough to say a lot – language is powerful. When asking for something, say please (or pls) when someone provides you with something even if it is a retweet (RT) say thank you. (Tks or TU).

2. Listen first. A great communicator always listens first before responding, answering, or contributing to the conversation. Listening is very powerful in twitter. You can listen to what your clients, employees, or target market are saying. You can listen to a conversation that is already started to see what the focus and tone are. Make sure you understand the message when replying or contributing. Twitter has a special shortened language that may be interpreted differently by different people. When in dought, ask for clarification. If you misinterpreted the message, go back to guideline #1 – say sorry.

3. Think B4 tweeting. If you are minding your manners and listening to the conversations before joining, then it should be easier to follow this next guideline: Think before tweeting! I tell all of my clients to follow this one simple rule: don’t put anything in a tweet (in an email, or anywhere on the web for that matter) that you don’t want your mom/dad, boss/client, or children to see (or repeat)!

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head.
If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

– Nelson Mandela

Join the conversation while keeping yourself on track with these 3 rules for communicating on twitter (and other online communities).  See you on twitter – @LindaDeLuca