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Incredible Short And Sharp Guide On How To Get Your Employee Come Off As A Professional On The Social Media

Incredible Short And Sharp Guide On How To Get Your Employee Come Off As A Professional On The Social Media

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter gives individuals, companies and their employees many opportunities,however, it may come with a price. To mitigate the dangers associated with using social media, it is important that employers and companies walk their employees through the rudiments of effective and professional social media management.

Apart from giving your employees  a step by step guide on how to use Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms professionally, it is very important to help them distinguish between professional and private use of social networks. Businesses should make it clear to your employees how much they can use social media for private purposes during their working hours.

Here are some habits that your employees can use to come off as professional on the social media:

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1. Be Articulate and Understanding

This is one of the habits that your employees will have to adopt as a social media user, since they will be interacting with people from all walks of life. (Also, many of your employees will just be starting off and won’t know too much about social media. Be sympathetic and don’t patronize them.)

Being articulate and understanding will make your staff come across professionally on social media. By making this a habit, your employees will earn followers’ trust. Do not forget that trust is not something that is achievable in one day; you have to do be consistent over a long period of time.  If you manage to help your employees abide by this habit in all their actions on social media, you will more likely see a boost in followers and possibly revenue.

2. Dedicate Time

If you want your employees to succeed and come off professionally on social networks you have to spend dedicated time. My usual advice is to organize your tasks well and employ the use of some support tools that can facilitate certain actions.

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3. Follow Follow Follow

Although there are many ways to increase your social media base, one of the actions that may differentiate normal users from professionals on social media is to acknowledge and return the requests of followers. A common mistake amongst many social networking users is that they do not follow that many people much less share other users’ content. They may have many followers but if you look at their timeline they usually ignore the presence of their fans. This is unprofessional, as increasing your fan base by following others could make you come off as a professional with interest in other people. Teach your employees to do this.

4. Be Civil, Follow Standard Regulation

Employees should fully be informed and advised to separate private opinions when using the company’s social networks. Whenever an employee speaks on behalf of the company on social networks, he or she must do so transparently. That is, he/she must present himself/herself as an employee of the company. For example, take a personal Twitter account, your biography should indicate that the use of the account is private.

Also, companies must inform their staff that in the social media there are legal limits that must be respected. In particular, the worker should be careful about violating data protection, copyright and other laws, rules and regulations.

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5. Appreciate and Be Thankful

This is one of the most important actions that will make your employees stand out among others as not everyone is thankful at all times. In addition, people who perceive that you are always willing to thank and show appreciation will greatly value that action and possibly recommend other users to your social networks.

Thanking others for their time during an interaction in social media is a strength that may be alien to some. But, if your goal is to succeed at training your employees to come off professionally on social media, you should adopt this.

6. Be Controlled and Regulate

When an employee goes on social networks and says critical comments about the company for which he or she works at, it is advisable to let the company’s PR department know and assess the appropriate collateral damage measures that need be  taken.

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Though employees are free to critique, that should be done outside working hours, not using the company’s social profile. Expressing yourself in critical terms towards the company itself in social networks is tolerable within limits. What should not be entertained is to use the company’s social profile to do this.

Being professional on the social media can serve as an opportunity to rebrand your business on social media. It is essential that care should be taken when employees engage clients on social media, as squabble can literary damage the hard-earned profile of your growing company.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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George Olufemi O

Information Technologist

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

How to Tap into Your Right Brain’s Potential

You may have heard someone say they are “totally right brained” or that they’re “a left brained person.”

There is a pervasive myth that’s been making its rounds for over a century: people have two hemispheres of their brains, and if they have a dominant left brain, they’re more analytical; and if they have a dominant right brain, they are more creative.

Before we go debunking this theory and then giving some tips for how people can access their creative brain centers, let’s first take a look at where the left brain/right brain lateralization theory comes from.

The Left Brain/Right Brain Lateralization Theory

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when patients injured one side of their brains, certain skills were lost.[1] Scientists linked those different skills to one side of the brain or the other. Thus began the left brain/right brain myth that continues to this day.

Then, in the 1960s and 70s, Roger W. Sperry led 16 operations that cut the corpus callosum (the largest region that connects both brain hemispheres together) in order to try to treat patients’ epilepsy. Sperry wrote about the differences in the two hemispheres as a result of those surgeries.[2]

Sperry’s work was popularized in 1973 with a New York Times article about his lateralization theory—that people were either right brained (read: logical) or left brained (read: creative). From here, Sperry won the Nobel Prize for his work and numerous other publications spread the right brain/left brain myth.

Debunking the Right Brain/Left Brain Myth

If anything, the lateralization theory of the brain is a gross exaggeration. It is true that people have two hemispheres of their brains. It is also true that there are differences in the composition of those two hemispheres.

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However, the hemispheres are actually much more interconnected than Sperry’s work initially made it seem.

In a 2013 study,[3] scientists scanned over 1000 people’s brains, checking for lateralization. They confirmed that certain brain functions occur predominately in one hemisphere or the other but that, in reality, the brain is actually much more interconnected and complex than the right brain/left brain lateralization theory makes it seem.[4][5]

A New Metaphor for Right Brain/Left Brain

How do we get past this right brain/left brain myth?

First, let’s look at what contemporary cognitive science says about brain regions, and creative and logical modes of thinking.

My background is as an improviser and improv researcher. I wrote Theatrical Improvisation, Consciousness, and Cognition and think looking at improvisation and the brain can shed light on a new model for talking about unlocking the brain’s creative potential.

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans have shown that while trained improvisers improvise (musically on a keyboard, rapping, and comedic improvisation) an interesting shift happens in their brain activity. [6]

A region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex decreases in activity and creative language centers such as the medial prefrontal cortex increase in activity. The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is linked with conscious thoughts—that inner voice that tells you not to say something or criticizes you when you do.

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The medial prefrontal cortex is among the brain regions linked with creativity. So, instead of thinking about right brain and left brain, perhaps it’s more current and correct to think about more specific brain regions instead of hemispheres. Perhaps, it’s more useful to think about which activities and strategies will allow us to inhibit our dorsolateral prefrontal cortexes and allow our medial prefrontal cortexes to flourish.

How to Enhance Your “Right Brain” — Creativity

Whether we’re talking about right brain versus left brain, creative versus logical, or medial prefrontal cortex versus dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we still know enough to talk about strategies to tap into your creative brain’s full potential.

So, now that we’ve dispelled the right brain/left brain myth and looked at a more contemporary, cognitive neuroscience theory of brain regions and creativity centers, let’s look at how to tap into the potential of your creative brain.

1. Performing Arts

One way to tap into your creative brain centers is to participate in the performing arts. Whether you improvise, act, or dance, the performing arts allow you an embodied experience that will help you snap out of your habitual, logical thoughts.

Another benefit of the performing arts is that it changes your attention. Attention and creativity are inextricably linked. When we improvise, act, or dance, we have to focus intently on our fellow performers. This means we are forced to focus less on our conscious, logical thoughts. This frees us up for more creative thinking and expression.[7]

One of the conclusions of my research on improvisation is that focusing intensely on fellow improvisers and the task at hand makes it more likely that we experience a flow state. Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,[8] a Professor of Psychology and Management defines flow as an optimal psychological state when our skills match the difficulty of the task at hand. Our perception of time is altered as we get into the zone and become more present and in the moment during our chosen activity.[9]

A flow state is a creative state. It’s the opposite of crunching numbers and forcing ourselves to work out a problem with the conscious regions of our brain. So, get up, improvise, act, or dance to access your creativity.

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2. Visual Art

Art teacher Betty Edwards[10] wrote a book called Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. Here again, we see that a shift in our attention can lead us to an increase in our creative thinking.

Edwards’ book gives art students tricks to shift the way they see the world. For example, one exercise encourages students to literally flip whatever it is they’re drawing upside down before they draw it. This forces budding artists to literally see the object in a new way. This shift allows them to focus more on the individual components and patterns of the object, which allows them to draw it better.

Shifting how we see things is another way we can access our creative brain centers. Take an art class to shut off your conscious, critical thoughts and start seeing things from a new, more creative perspective.

3. Zone Out

If there’s one thing creativity doesn’t like, it’s being coerced.

I think we’ve all felt that awful feeling of trying to force ourselves to be creative. When we force it, we’re really trying to force our logical brain regions to be creative. It’s like asking your gardener to perform your appendix surgery. It’s just not what she does.

Instead, stop forcing it. Take a break. Take a long walk or a relaxing bath or shower. Let your mind wander.

Whatever you do, stop forcing it. This break lets your creative centers rise to the surface of your attention and get heard.

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4. Practice Mindfulness

The final trick to start accessing your so-called right brain is to practice mindfulness.

Now, there’s a lot of different ways to go about mindfulness. You can take a more physical approach with a yoga class. Or you can try meditating to become more aware and in tune with your thoughts and feelings: Meditation for Beginners: How to Meditate Deeply and Quickly

You could also try to incorporate fun mindfulness exercises[11] into your everyday routine like forcing yourself to go on detours or pretending you’re a detective who needs to examine people and places closely.

Any way you do it, mindfulness exercises and training can help you become better versed in how your brain works and what your normal thought process is like on a day-to-day basis. If we’re ever going to reach our optimal creativity, we have to become an expert in how our individual brain functions. Mindfulness is one way to become your very own brain expert.

Mindfulness also has added benefits like calming us, slowing our breathing, and helping us become more observant, which are also great ways to start tapping into our creative potential.

Final Thoughts

So, it may not be correct to say that our right brain is our creative brain, but it is still a valid pursuit to try to optimize our creative brain centers.

The key to do so is to relax, become observant, shift your perspective, move your body, try something new, and, whatever you do, don’t force it.

Creativity can feel slippery. It can abandon us when we need it most, but by slowing down and looking at things from a new perspective, we can give ourselves a better chance of tapping into our ultimate creativity, even if that doesn’t exactly mean our “right brain.”

More Tips on Boosting Creativity

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

Reference

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