Facebook…or Face Time?: Why Business Relationships Take More Than Texting, Friending, and Online “Connecting”

Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey

Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey

It’s official: Email, texting, and social media are no longer just helpful supplemental business tools. They’ve taken over the whole game. Yes, technology has made many aspects of modern living more convenient and “connected,” but the pendulum has swung too far. Now, people are reluctant to do something as simple as picking up the phone, preferring to shoot off an email instead. And face-to-face meetings—well, they’re almost unheard of.

This “technology takeover” is not without consequence, says Michael Houlihan. Misunderstandings abound. Relationships stagnate. Trust is at an all-time low. And all of these issues are at least partially due to the fact that genuine human connections have been replaced by mouse-clicks and keystrokes.

“Social media and technology do have their place, but they are not, and never will be, a substitute for in-person interaction,” confirms Houlihan, coauthor along with Bonnie Harvey of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand (coming in May 2013 from Evolve Publishing)

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How do I give an endorsement on LinkedIn?

According to David Breger’s blog post on LinkedIn this week, LinkedIn introduced users to Endorsements, a new LinkedIn feature that will make it easier for users to recognize their connections for their skills and expertise.

It’s easy, says Breger. “With just one click, you can now endorse your connections for a skill they’ve listed on their profile or recommend one they haven’t added yet.”

For instance, I just recommended a writing colleague of mine for his social media and writing talents. He’s also a great PR practitioner—and since that didn’t come up in his list of recommended skills, I simply added to it.

From LinkedIn, here’s how to endorse someone:

  • On the top of a connection’s profile, you’ll see recommended endorsements for them. You can suggest additional skills as well.
  • You can also endorse them from the new Skills & Expertise section that now showcases these endorsements.

For more information, go to the LinkedIn Endorsements blog post.

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Six Ways to Become a Better Networker

While everyone is all agog over social media, good old fashioned networking remains one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to promote your services. It’s an essential skill that will allow you to develop partnerships, build contacts, and generate business.

That’s not to say you should ditch your social media efforts. On the contrary, social media should always be an integral part of your networking initiatives. But there is nothing like quality face-to-face time with your target market.

If you’re not networking, you’re ‘not working’ according to Andrea Nierenberg, consultant and author of Million Dollar Networking and Nonstop Networking, whom I interviewed for an article on networking several years ago. She believes that when you’re networking, your goals are to identify new business opportunities, cultivate relationships, and keep those powerful contacts for life.

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Facebook…or Face Time?: Why Business Relationships Take More Than Texting, Friending, and Online “Connecting”

Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 8.54.19 PMIt’s official: Email, texting, and social media are no longer just helpful supplemental business tools. They’ve taken over the whole game. Yes, technology has made many aspects of modern living more convenient and “connected,” but the pendulum has swung too far. Now, people are reluctant to do something as simple as picking up the phone, preferring to shoot off an email instead. And face-to-face meetings—well, they’re almost unheard of.

This “technology takeover” is not without consequence, says Michael Houlihan. Misunderstandings abound. Relationships stagnate. Trust is at an all-time low. And all of these issues are at least partially due to the fact that genuine human connections have been replaced by mouse-clicks and keystrokes.

“Social media and technology do have their place, but they are not, and never will be, a substitute for in-person interaction,” confirms Houlihan, coauthor along with Bonnie Harvey of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built a Bestselling Wine (coming in May 2013 from Evolve Publishing, www.thebarefootspirit.com). “Your physical presence—or at least the sound of your voice—builds trust you can’t even approach with a keyboard, screen, or profile image.”

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How Do You Make Your References Stand Out From the Job-Seeking Crowd?

Asking for Job References, Resume Builder5 Steps to make your references a powerful asset on your behalf.

It’s no secret that in today’s challenging job market, you’ll likely need some less-than-traditional tools in your arsenal. Too many applicants simply use their previous references as a listing to be offered upon request by prospective employers, say the reference checking experts at Allison & Taylor.

Here are 5 steps designed to make your references powerful assets in your job-seeking toolbox:

1. First, make a list of all your prospective references. Begin with the first job that is relevant in management of your career today. You need to select those who have carefully observed your job performance. Your references need to have seen you in action, hopefully performing well in adverse conditions. Be sure to gather all- important contact data about every potential reference, including: name, title, company, address, telephone/fax number, and e-mail address. (Get information on how to modernize your reference list here.)

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