Isn’t it interesting that good online behaviour works exactly the same online as it does offline? If we are good at sharing, we serve others with the generosity of our time and value, we are open to new contacts and ideas etc, we are considered to “be social” in the offline world as well as the online world, valued as friends or colleagues, able to build powerful relationships to help us throughout or careers.

However, in the online world it is our ability to get to grips with the tools and technology which can seriously effect our chances of being seen as social online, even though we may be seen as “social” offline.  Thus creating an inconsistency which can work against the individual e.g. the individual hasn’t bothered with a good online profile on LinkedIn and therefore looks cold and corporate, whereas in real like they and informed, social, engaging and interesting. In the offline world we have leant our social skills (or not) over many years, but online many of us have never put the time into learning them. Perhaps now is a good time to start because we are simply spending more time online as ‘this is the way the world works’ in terms of context, communications and commerce.

Not social or Social

Consider the list above, put together as a list of online social behaviours which categorize individuals as to whether they are going to be successful in an online world i.e. Social, or not. For example if you are controlling about your information, your time and your contacts, too busy to accept requests to connect, but want everyone to read your posts, focused only on the ROI and what you can get out of any situation (I tried social media for a week and it didn’t work), you are not likely to fair well in the online world as people will not share with you, not be willing to engage, not be open with you and move on quickly. So although people can get away with these traits can in an offline world due to old company hierarchies, systems, politics, they simply wont get off the starting blocks on the internet.

The internet is therefore forcing both individuals and firms to first define themselves and what makes them interesting, making them be more open to sharing information and more supportive of partnerships as the world gets more connected and open.

We are fascinated by what motivates busy, senior people to do something about their online competencies, a lot of it can be down to character e.g. not everyone is naturally social offline. Easy if there is a big motivation promotion, the desire to change jobs and therefore be more visible and branded, but not so easy when its just one thing/skill on a long list that needs to be done to get through the day.

We do feel that the availability of a Digital Companion who can fast track: understanding, context, technology and informational set up, personal/professional brand strategy, as well as provide the prompting and encouragement of a coaching type relationship, is a good start. But what else have you found that works?


  • Rob Peters

    Great article Bob and particularly the graphic “Not Social or Social”. 12 years ago I had the proverbial epiphany that how we connect, collaborate, engender trust, deepen loyalties, keep promises, and earn relationship capital credibility was going to be an strategic and distinctive in our hyperconnected and transparent world. I started a journey of purpose on what it means to trust and to be trustworthy; especially in B2B relationships online and off.

    This passion drove my mastery and to share my knowledge as a speaker, author, trainer, and blogger. I am a very social person who is open and supportive of others. My passion has launched the Standard of Trust Group that serves business clients and thought leader partners who want to win by out-behaving the competition through purpose, performance, and relationship capital.