The Gift of
Zen and the Art of Business
The Gift of Social Sharing
“When we put our ideas out there, we may not always hear the answers that we want, but isn’t that helpful too? ”
Calling your own shots and feeling like your own boss has some advantages, but this kind of independence also brings unique challenges. It is especially important for self reliant personalities to remain open and to seek out input from other people.
Why not reach out to your trusted connections and social network for feedback on ideas that you have or projects that you are still work-shopping in your own head?
Social media has changed the world we live in in so many ways. Never before in history have we had access to this kind of instant feedback from our colleagues and from the world at large. When we put our ideas out there, we may not always hear the answers that we want, but isn’t that helpful too?
This kind of reflection can give you the nudge you need to take it to the next level, or to realize that you need to reconsider your approach. Either way, you have gained valuable insight that you can use.
Getting Better All The Time
Every time you share an idea with others and have a discussion about it, you improve yourself and your idea. Let’s face it, no single idea is original anyway. Really, it’s true.
Allowing yourself the opportunity to talk openly (even with only a trusted few) about your genius idea will bring it out of the confines of your mind into the open where it can get a chance to stand on its own merit (or not). If you want to improve yourself and your idea, sharing does just that.
“Holding onto an idea as if you own it will never help you or anyone else to succeed.”
Connecting Ideas In New Ways
No idea is perfect and no single mind can possibly contemplate every angle. Trusting others with your little baby idea will help it mature faster than keeping it in the echo chamber of your brain.
All ideas start out a little fuzzy and rough around the edges. Even the ones that feel like epiphany can stand for some refinement. Sharing your ideas with others causes you to think a little bit harder about how they really work. Allowing reflections from others helps you to create new connections and bridge the gaps in your sketchy thoughts to improve upon them. Holding onto an idea as if you own it will never help you or anyone else to succeed.
What You Give, You Get Back
Sharing ideas benefits everyone. Allowing others to take part in critical thinking with you not only helps improve upon the idea, but also builds stronger relationships. People are generally very happy to contribute their knowledge and share insight with you. Bringing this kind of outlook to your social media (and real world) interactions deepens your connections and strengthens your bonds. When you show this kind of trust in others, it will be returned to you.
Human Connection Cannot Be Automated
The value of social media is the human element. Sharing knowledge creates valuable, real-life connections. Those relationships allow us to grow and improve in unexpected and wonderful ways. I will go so far as to say that these are our most valuable social connections.
Through these connections we are able to accomplish more than we ever could on our own, and usually in a shorter amount of time. Take the time to connect with others, by helping them work out their ideas too. You will quickly discover the talents and genius within your network of friends.
“When we take a pause, and really listen to others, we allow ourselves to learn. ”
Well Isn’t That Curious
Share your idea, and allow others to pick it apart. Ask some questions about their thought process. Let your idea be like putty.
Have you ever met someone that just won’t be quiet? They know a lot. In fact it can be very impressive to listen to them. It can also be exhausting to sit and wait to get a word in. One of my friends likes to say of those who talk too much, “He doesn’t have a curious bone in his body.” I love that. And, I love curious people the most.
To ‘that’ guy I want to say, “Yes, we know you are smart. But, guess what? We are smarter together.”
When we take a pause, and really listen to others, we allow ourselves to learn. Building on our knowledge by allowing others to share does something else too: it gets us invited back to the party next time. So don’t be afraid to ask a few questions. Allow yourself to be curious.
We Can’t Agree All The Time
Critical thinking about your own ideas, and the ideas of others cultivates curiosity and a healthy attitude about questions. It will also help you to become more humble. Heck, you can’t be right all the time!
Every once in awhile, when sharing ideas, you are apt to get into disagreements and encounter differences of opinion. Rather than argue, allow yourself to debate a little; rather than getting all worked up, take a deep breath, and relax a little. Now, be kind and choose your words tactfully. Keeping your emotions in check is not always an easy thing to do, but will gain you respect in every aspect of life, online and offline. So, articulate your thoughts in a friendly way. Ask yourself, “How would I like someone to speak to me?” Take it from there.
I know that it seems like I am up on a soapbox right now. The sermon will end soon, I promise.
You Could Stand To Learn A Thing Or Two (And So Could I)
While defending your idea might feel like a worthy cause, perhaps it is even more worthwhile to allow yourself to be educated. Even if you don’t agree with someone, you now have a new point of view and a greater understanding of your own position.
My advice is, do your best to accept the criticism that comes your way. It will only help you to share more effectively in the future and give you greater strength to face your challenges. Without a little debating there’s a good chance that your idea won’t be as good as it could have been. So, let it get knocked around a little bit. It’s only an idea, after all.
“Become open to sharing your projects and thoughts (even the baby ones) with others. ”
Become the Nile
A bellydance teacher that I know once told me, “I don’t care if anyone steals my dance moves. I am not a glass of water, I am the Nile.” I love that. Ideas are just a glass of water. Your mind is the Nile.
Ok. Here’s another metaphor to play with. Breakthroughs and innovations come by way of allowing your idea to be like a seed. That seed is watered with the thoughts and ideas that other people add to it. Become open to sharing your projects and thoughts (even the baby ones) with others. As you practice doing this you will begin to cultivate a whole new world view.
I am sure you know that some ideas are great, while most just fade away. That’s okay, ideas come and go. It is the connections you make that cannot be replaced. Connecting and sharing will always have more value than the idea itself.
The reality is that ideas aren’t that important unless they are shared.
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