Top 2 Ways To Communicate…. with Me

twitter_birdHow do you like people to communicate with you?  Do you let them know?

I have talked to so many people over the years that complain about the way that they are “forced” to communicate.  Email seems to be the most disliked, if I’m using my totally unscientific research methods of word-of-mouth to compute.  I could write a whole post on email etiquette that would make it better, but suffice to say that there are only two rules to follow:

  1. Only include the people truly necessary
  2. If you are cc’d on an email message, DO NOT REPLY.  It is meant as an “FYI”, not as needing a response.  Nothing irks me more than an whole chain of email replies from people who were just cc’d.

As for other types of communications, I’ve learned that everyone has their top one or two ways to connect them for the fastest replies.  For me, everyone who knows me realizes that Twitter DM is the fastest way to reach me.  Text is second.  I try to make it known to anyone close to me that those are the best ways to reach me.

Do you do the same?

You may be thinking it’s presumptuous to ask other people to reach you in a certain way.  It’s not.  It is helpful.  You not only save them time, you save yourself frustration.  When I was a HR leader I would tell vendors that if they emailed me, they may not hear back for weeks because I received over 200 email each day.  I would tell them Twitter DM works best.  It was amazing how many used that contact method and it kept their ask or pitch concise.  I loved it.

I recently came across a post by my HR Happy Hour co-host, Steve Boese, in which he publicized how to reach him.  It’s also funny, so give it a read.  While written tongue-in-cheek, I think it’s a good example of how to tell people the best way to contact you without being offensive.

So, how do you like to be contacted?  Leave it in the comments and I’ll be sure to reach out to you in the future…

Friday Fun: Upward Feedback

It’s Friday!  (cheers and applause heard throughout the office)


Since it’s Friday, let’s have a bit of fun.  A couple months ago, Tim Sackett over at FOT wrote a great post about giving Twitter-style performance review feedback in 140 characters.  I would like to see what that would look like if we were giving upward feedback to our managers in 140 characters.  Here’s what it might look like:

Type-A Personality Supervisor– Drives full speed ahead on company mission, brings some along & runs over others, precise communicator, sets challenging climate, decisive

The Nurturing Supervisor– Patiently listens to staff concerns, always has time for employees, rarely confronts issues head on, wishy-washy at times, covers for staff

So, here’s your Friday fun challenge:  Use the comment section to write upward feedback in 140 characters or less  for a boss.

It can be for a current boss or a boss from a former job.  If you don’t want to get that specific, tell us you’re doing it for an “imaginary” boss.  It could be for the worst boss you’ve ever had, or the one who was the best person you’ve ever worked for.  OR you can go a whole different direction and give upward feedback to Santa Claus because that would be fun too.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Social Media: Your Key To Competitive Advantage

What comes to mind when you hear the words social media?  Do you think of sites that are popular today like Twitter, FaceBook, or LinkedIn?  Do you think it is just for teens or that it is just a tool to decrease employee productivity?  Or, can you see past all the negative hype and see how to exploit social media platforms for a competitive advantage?

That’s right, social media can be your key to competitive advantage.

It is a tool that can help you as an individual or as a business leader to stand head and shoulders above the rest.  Let’s be honest, in today’s lagging market, we need a way to stand out in a positive way and to reach our current and potential clients and customers.  So, how do we get there?  Social media. These are free tools that can be quickly learned and applied in ways that will communicate your brand.  If you’re like I was, then you just don’t make the connection how that is possible.  Let me share my story.

About two years ago, I participated in a webinar that demonstrated how to use Twitter.  I sat through it wondering how in the world this would pertain to me in my role as a human resources director.  I did not understand the concept of finding people with a certain background to follow.  I did not understand why someone would want to follow me and see what I’m doing moment by moment.  And so, like many, I signed off and did not touch it again.

Fast forward to a year ago.  I loved reading human resource blogs and started my own human resource blog.  I realized that many of the bloggers I was communicating with used Twitter so I signed back in.  I followed HR bloggers and other HR professionals and saw them sharing relevant HR articles on trends and core competencies . I began tweeting (sharing information in 140 characters via Twitter) each time I wrote a new post on my blog.  My followers would re-tweet it, meaning they would send it to all their followers.  I quickly saw my blog stats rise and simultaneously, my Twitter followers increased too.

I was marketing myself!

I fell into a situation where I quickly learned the power Twitter has to connect you with other like-minded professionals in your industry or with a certain market segment that you would like to reach.  The one caution I have is that the Twitter community is one not to take advantage of.  You have to be genuine and willing to share and communicate, not just push out your personal or company agenda.  Otherwise, you will be labeled a spammer and will quickly crash and burn.

Since that time, my blog has seen exponential growth, my personal brand as a HR professional has flourished and I have the opportunity to speak globally about the power of social media.

So, have I piqued your interest in getting involved with social media?  Add your questions or your own story in the comments.

Twitter for Upward Feedback- A Fun Challenge for You

I heard today that Twitter use among teens is on the rise and has more than doubled since this time last year.  I’ve been using Twitter almost daily since 2009.  It’s not only a great place to network and socialize, it’s also a searchable tool I can use to find business solutions and contacts.  With that in mind, I searched through my archives for a post that shows how Twitter can be used to provide upward feedback in a fun way.

Are you up for the challenge?  Play along….


Tim Sackett wrote a great post over at FOT about giving Twitter-style performance review feedback in 140 characters.  I would like to see what that would look like if we were giving upward feedback to our managers in 140 characters.  Here’s what I imagine:

Type-A Personality Supervisor– Drives full speed ahead on company mission, brings some along & runs over others, precise communicator, sets challenging climate, decisive

The Nurturing Supervisor– Patiently listens to staff concerns, always has time for employees, rarely confronts issues head on, wishy-washy at times, covers for staff

So, here’s you fun challenge-  Use the comment section to write upward feedback in 140 characters or less  for a boss.

It can be for a current boss or a boss from a former job.  If you don’t want to get that specific, tell us you’re doing it for an “imaginary” boss.  It could be for the worst boss you’ve ever had, or the one who was the best person you’ve ever worked for.  OR you can go a whole different direction and give upward feedback to Santa Claus because that would be fun too.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Using Social Media: How To Tweet Your Company’s Jobs

Earlier this week, I wrote 10 Easy Ways to Build Social Media Into Your HR Practice.  Today I’m sharing specifics on each of the ideas I suggested.  These are written with beginners in mind.

My first suggestion is to tweet your jobs.  It’s becoming common for companies today to have a company Twitter account.  Make sure that at a minimum, your recruiters are sharing their job openings on Twitter. But Twitter is not just about posting jobs like a job board.   Recruiters and HR pros should also tweet reasons candidates would want to work at your company, share awards or recognition the company has received and in general, any positive messages about the organization.

If you’re not on Twitter:

  • Go to and open an account.  It’s easy to get started and Twitter now has easy steps to walk you through the process of creating your profile and following a few people.
  • Once signed up for Twitter, go to the search box and type in words related to your business or industry.  It will bring up people related to that industry.  Start    following people.  The only way to begin getting people to follow you (which you’ll need later) is by following them.
  • Take an online Twitter tutorial to gain understanding of how to begin to use the tool.  Twitter provides a good tutorial and you can also search for videos on YouTube that give good demonstration on how to use Twitter.

 If you have a Twitter account for your company or your recruiting team:

  •  Compose the tweet.  Now that you are using Twitter, compose a tweet that suscinctly describes keywords about the job.  Be sure to include a shortened link to the job on your career website.  An example would be “Charlotte manufacturer hiring Director of IT. Relo available. #Charlotte #IT #Jobs“.  You can see that it describes the location, type of company, role and gives a bit of information on relocation.  It includes a shortened version of the link and a few hashtags to help the tweet reach more people.
  • Use hashtags.  In the example above, you can see I included three word “tags”  that will help the job show up in searches on Twitter.  Since it is located in Charlotte, I chose that as a search I would want the tweet to appear.  I also chose IT and jobs since there are people who run searches looking for IT jobs.    For more information on what a hashtag is and how to use it, click here.
Remember, using Twitter is not just about pushing information out. It’s about engaging in conversation with people, in this case, potential candidates.  Be sure to tweet out information about your company so that people are more likely to ask questions about the company and more likely to re-tweet and share your job postings!
Happy Tweeting!

Who Cares That You’re Sick?

Warning, whiny post ahead-

Well, maybe not a whiny post, but not one that will blow you away if you’re looking for leadership advice of ideas of how to be an innovator.  No, today I’m battling a head cold that I think is actually a sinus infection.  Don’t feel sorry for me though because I’m fairly certain that I got it on an airplane and made it worse by standing outside last Sunday in a cold rain as I watched my son’s football team win the Superbowl in his age division.  Go Little Panthers!

Feeling bad and getting up early to write do not mix for me, so yesterday I posted on FaceBook that I was too sick to write my blog post.  Many people responded sending me “feel better” wishes.  It certainly made me feel better to know that my friends cared.  The last comment came from my friend Debbie Brown.  She suggested I look at the list of people who responded and cared and write about whether or not I was friends with or knew any of these people five years ago.   Great idea!

As I looked over the list of my caregivers and well-wishers, I was shocked to see that I did not know ANY of these people five years ago.  Two people I met through my kids’ athletic teams and the other nine were all people I met on Twitter that I later met in person.  UNBELIEVABLE!  And’ while I’ve known most of them just shy of five years, I was completely caught off guard that social media has impacted my life in such a positive way.  These people are real friends, not just some followers on Twitter.

So, a special thank you to John Jorgerson, Joan Ginsberg, Jay Kuhns, Franny Oxford, Jenny Payne, Mervyn Dinnen, Mike VanDervort, Gail Dluhy, Judy Mack and Debbie Brown for being my friends.  Thank you for caring about me and for sharing it on FaceBook.  

It’s better than chicken-noodle-soup!

Social Recruiting Strategies For Your Organization

Are you using social platforms to enhance your organization’s recruiting efforts?  It’s a practice that is quickly becoming not only more acceptable as an avenue to reach candidates but a “must have” tool in your recruiting arsenal.  Early adopters of social media platforms had to use a trial-and-error method to determine how to identify specific candidates, the best ways to grab their attention and how to take the initial connection and turn it into a hire.  Social recruiting is about how to engage social media users, potential candidates, in conversation.  These conversations begin to build a relationship with your organization and the brand, ultimately to lead to hires from a new candidate pool.

Today, there are many ways to build the skill of social recruiting.  Recruiters can still join the various platforms and attempt to reach candidates in that same trial-and-error method. However, more organizations are trying to find training for their recruiting teams that is more effective and efficient when it comes to building the employer brand into a social recruiting strategy.

Why social recruiting?

It’s about more than having a Twitter or FaceBook account.  It’s about:

  • using multiple sites to target a niche of candidates that you may not reach otherwise
  • pulling them into your world, not just pushing information out to the masses

I recommend an upcoming, online series of sessions hosted by Brazen U.  The Social Recruiting Bootcamp will take place November 7- 18.  BrazenU’s Social Recruiting Bootcamp will teach you how to use social media to ENGAGE with your target recruiting audience, create the content and message to CONNECT with top talent, and implement the strategy to make the right HIRE, fast.

This course offers the flexibility to either participate in live sessions or access the program materials at a time that fits your schedule — all at a fraction of the cost of typical in-person conferences. And, the course has been approved for 6.0 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

Register today!

Twitter and My “Almost Cousin”


You know it when you feel it with another person.  You sense the immediate connection and feel like you have known the person forever.  And, hopefully you notice that the other person feels the same way.  Of course that can happen in romantic situations but more often, it happens in those chance meetings with individuals that become our life-long friends.

Since becoming involved in social media, blogging and Twitter have brought several people into my life that I felt this chemistry with.  One is Dwane Lay.

We’re both HR professionals.

We both live in St. Louis.

We both blog and speak at conferences.

We like many of the same things and the same people.

Dwane & Trish- I talk, he listens.

Like any good friends, you try to be there in times of need.  Dwane was kind enough to call me this week to check in after my aunt passed away.  I thanked him for calling and shared some of the details with him.  Details that included that I’ll be heading to a small town in southern Missouri on Saturday for her burial at the family cemetery.  When I said the name of the town, he immediately responded that he knows the town.  In fact, his mother’s entire family is from the next town over and have strong connections to the town I mentioned.

My mind was racing.

Do our families know each other?  What is the connection?  Even better, are we somehow related?

As it turns out, we are not related.  However, we do have families that shared connections that go back several generations.  In a small farming community it would be virtually impossible for our families paths not to collide.  We quickly agreed that we needed to call our mothers to find out how the families connect.

I think my mom getting a call out of the blue that sounded something like, “Mom! My friend Dwane just told me his whole family is from Patterson/ Piedmont and do you know them and do you remember them and do you have any stories about them and are we related and what if we are! Wow that would be cool and do you think you can tell me all about it oh and are you in the middle of cooking dinner? forget that this is BIG news mom, don’t you think? and can you believe I met him on Twitter????”  I was talking so fast it was one long, run-on sentence and my poor mom was just trying to figure out if it was me or my sister calling.  I can’t blame her for being caught off guard.

As she slowed me down and we went through each of my questions I quickly learned that the families knew each other.  In fact, she had gone to school with Dwane’s uncle her entire life and even dated him for a brief time.  I learned that my aunt who had passed knew his aunt and were likely in the same grade.  I learned that my mom even remembered Dwane’s mom as the baby of her family.

Small world.

I called Dwane back, quite excited with the information I was armed with.  He was excited too with his own stories of further connection.

When we finally hung up after realizing we could have almost been cousins, it was as if we already were.

So, when people ask me why I like networking on social media sites, I can add “because it helps me find/ make my family”, that will be true.  Life is short and the opportunity to make connections with those people we can trust are rare.  I’m thankful that I’ve been open to networking because it has enriched my life in so many ways.

And brought me my “almost cousin”, Dwane.

Thanks Twitter.

**To hear Dwane’s side of our story, click through to his post “The Family We Choose”