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Relational Architecture -2- Listening

If you have been trained up reasonably well socially, you know the rule... "Listen more than you speak."

We don't always follow it, but it really is a good rule of thumb to make sure that we are respecting the person in front of us and that we don't come across as a self centered know-it-all.

Listening before we speak helps us to pick up social cues. If we walk into a room an listen for minute, we might find that people are grieving... or we might find they are celebrating. What we find out by listening informs us about how to act appropriately.

We need to learn that skillset again at a business or organizational level. If we are to be real and personal with our customers and constituents, we need to start again with simple listening. While it used tto take quite some effort to listen to our fans, it is now easy. We have tools to do it like we never have had before. Their conversations are public. So let's do it.2- Listening

As a start, you go to Google Alerts and set up a simple alert on your name in quotes. You can "listen" to the whole internet to find when anyone mentions your name. Find out what they are saying.

Grab a Twitter account and follow a few interesting people. Spend ten minutes a day finding out reading what they are up to.

Listening shows respect, builds trust, and helps us to speak intelligently into the right places.

And remember that we are not just listening to the people with the agenda of advertising to them later. We are listening for relationship... for how we can make each others lives better. Are the people that visit your coffee shop talking about you on foursquare? Find out. Do your peers frequent a place online? Does your professional organization? Where are they gathering? What new ideas do that have that you should listen to?

As we architect your social environment online, we need to value the power of listening. Listening let's us know what to do next.