Earlier this year I presented a workshop in Canberra at the 13th Social Media for Gov Summit. The workshop was titled A Social Media Tool Kit for Genuine Connection in the Public Sector.
Social Media in the public sector certainly has its challenges. The pressure coming from the general public along with fellow representatives and the system itself is a lot for government employees to deal with and although the sometimes hostile responses on social media are at times understandable considering the frustration many have towards the systems that govern us, it also means that the people who sit in these roles need a great amount of poise, understanding and detachment to know how to respond without taking any of the heat on.
A difficult role, but completely possible when one has the ability to observe and not absorb.
People often forget when they are writing on a public forum that the people reading and receiving these comments are often not the policy makers themselves; although we all contribute to policy on some level, but rather the social media managers, trained in marketing and not necessarily in counselling or detachment as mentioned above. These are life skills to which everyone has to a differing degree, hence the main focus of the workshop was to look at how the participants were feeling supported, or not, and to discuss some practical tools that would benefit all in their role.
It was a packed workshop with the majority of attendees displaying clear dedication and purpose for their role. There was already quite a strong grasp of the need to be very objective and so the focus of discussion was mostly on deepening ones understanding to bring it all together whilst not taking on or absorbing the pressure that the room collectively expressed was there.
We also discussed what 'genuine' connection actually is, what it looks like in its outplay and the fact that as sentient beings, we all know the difference between a connection that is genuine, or one that doesn't really cut the mustard, even when we are not face to face with that person.
We spoke about authenticity, one of the latest buzz words on the social front, along with consistency and the fact that these qualities needed to be lived in every aspect of our lives in order to be able to bring them to the workplace.
As a social media consultant and presenter, I got a great deal more insight into this area of service from what was discussed that day and left feeling another level of awe with the responsibility we have on social media and life in general.
My take home from the workshop was that no matter what role we fill, it is our responsibility to observe life around us to the best of our ability and with that observation comes the ability to understand and respond, rather then react to life and people. This is so important, not just for those in the public sector but for us all going forward.
If you'd like to receive a copy of the workshop powerpoint or alternatively, if you'd like to inquire about an in-house workshop in your workplace please contact firstname.lastname@example.org