On an April late afternoon in 2006, I left an Administrative Professionals’ Week event in Washington, DC, rushed home and couldn’t wait to share all about the fantastic celebration. The problem was, who was interested in hearing about it?

I needed to tell the story! How was I going to tell the story about the brunch cruise, the leaders, the speaker, the more than 85 administrative professionals at the event?

I had read blogs. I liked blogs. I wasn’t sure I could write one. I mean, who was going to read it?

I gathered up my courage, created an account on Blogger and off I went. I wasn’t even thinking about how many followers; I just wanted an outlet. Twelve years and one name change later, AdminRenegade is still going. My social community learning evolution over the next few years changed my life, changed my perspective, changed how I learn, lead and teach.

Not long after the blog writing began, Twitter arrived on my radar. I was reeled in and hooked. Suddenly, endless networking opportunities arose, allowing me to share my insights, articles, and content. Executives, entrepreneurs, creatives, other administrative peers- were all in the same dialogue without the business career caste- this was an entirely new ballgame.

The more I engaged on Twitter, the more extensive my connections in business grew. I was asked to join a G+ community and participate in a Google hangout with a group of human resource and workforce professionals. One member introduced Periscope, Twitter’s live stream application. Next thing I knew, people were live-streaming Q&A sessions. I became overwhelmed with all that social offered but, I also recognized the time I was losing as I fell into the time warp of screen scrolling. I have come to believe that getting sucked into that black hole / time warp is a part of the overall process of absorbing social learning.  The important key was learning! Learning new social applications and tools that would propel me forward into new communities, new networks, new collaborations.

At some point, I realized I needed to focus where I could genuinely build relationships and not just dash off a ‘Thanks for following’ note. However, as always there were still more ways to connect and learn. Learning is a process and has means of introducing us to other tools on the periphery.

My social learning journey:

Over the course of time I now recognize key motivators for my own social learning.

  • Share something that interests you
  • Acknowledge when you learn from or appreciate a post from others
  • Try new tools and apps mentioned on social
  • Share what you learn
  • Stay engaged with positive social communities

Social media and related tools for social are a given in today’s business world. You don’t have to know them all. Start your journey with one.  If you don’t like it, try a different one. Try the one your employer leans on the most. What? Your company doesn’t do social? You could start it for them. That’s what I call a great opportunity to take leadership.

Kemetia MK Foley is a storyteller, stand-up comic, writer, and trainer. She is fierce, funny, and phenomenal – energetically delivering outstanding professional development courses since 2007. Kemetia has presented more than 200 training sessions and has ... (Read More)

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