This past week I had the privilege of taking an EQi training course with Marcia Hughes of Collaborative Growth. Part way through our first morning of training, we were working our way through a case study when one participant raised an interesting point about whether or not the notion of social media connections played a role in the EQi coaching process. A silence fell over the room as people started to ponder. What a GREAT question.
We really do live in an amazing and unique time. Never before have we been able to connect with people through so many different communication and collaboration tools, and many of them free! . Think of the choices: Skype, Google Hangouts, Facetime, Twitter, Facebook, G+, wikis, Google Docs, MSO365, texting etc. etc. Social media tools provide people with a means to have an online voice through blogging and other writing tools. This is a REALLY incredible time.
These tools have ‘reach’ and provide a gateway to connect and collaborate across the globe. I think it is important to play in this big sandbox to leverage the connections and opportunities – especially for students since this is the world they will work, live and function in. For those of us who knew the old ‘telephone only’ world and transitioned through email etc. en route to this technology rich world, we may have a better sense of when to connect face to face (F2F) or pick up the phone. While texting and social media offer so much potential, they may not be the best tools for every situation in our complex world.
I think this speaks directly to the need for digital citizenship and opportunities for students to learn these tools and become skilled them. In turn, having opportunities and situations to evaluate and select appropriate tools is an important step in building a confident skill set. I see all of this connected to building and managing working relationships, so I would cast my vote to YES, social media, online communication and collaboration tools do intersect with relationships and EQi by extension.
What are your thoughts? How would you vote? Feel free to add a comment or get in touch via Twitter.