SL060: Serving Not Selling During Coronavirus – Andrea T. Edwards

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Serving Not Selling

Serving not Selling

In today’s episode Andrea T. Edwards talks about Serving Not Selling During Coronavirus.

Andrea T Edwards, CSP, (AKA The Digital Conversationalist), challenges organisations to think differently about integrity in the digital age. To think differently about the positive potential of social media. And she challenges business leaders to understand that, the tool of business transformation today, is through the powerful voices of employees as social leaders. Because it is employees who are the champions and true influencers for businesses in the digital age.

Tools: iMovie, Shutterstock
Books: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

https://andreatedwards.net/

Artificial Intelligence Generated Transcript

Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

James Taylor
Hey, there’s James Taylor and I’m delighted today to have on the show Andrea Edwards, Andrea T. Edwards CSP, aka the digital conversationalist challenges organizations to think differently about integrity in the digital age, to think differently about the positive potential of social media. And she challenges business leaders to understand that the tool of business transformation today is through the powerful voices of employees as social leaders, because its employees who are the champions and true influences for businesses in the digital age. It’s my great pleasure to have Andrea with us today. So welcome, Andrea. Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here. So share with us Oh, what’s happening in your world at the moment?

Andrea Edwards
Well, we’ve been on lockdown now I call it six legs plus two because I had a self quarantine came back from Melbourne to Thailand. And because I went to Singapore for an hour and a half, I had to self quarantine at home. So we’ve been in we’ve been in quite a quite a long time and I think the first couple of rates for pretty rough, just from just all settling down getting the kids set or getting them working for school. But you know where we are. I mean, we couldn’t be in a better place. We’ve got a big pool. We’re swimming as a family everyday doing lap. So it’s a crazy time. But I think we’re in one of the best parts of the world to be going through such a crazy time.

James Taylor
Now for people that don’t know your your kind of background, the kind of work you do today. I mean, you work with some pretty phenomenal clients, but you work with you, you speak events, but actually, you kind of consult and you train. So just give a little bit of background about the kind of interactions that you’re usually having and the kind of clients that you would work with.

Andrea Edwards
Yeah, so I’ve been in the communication space for more than 20 years, and I’ve lived and worked all over the world. So originally, I started out pure purely in public relations from the defense, aerospace industry. Then I moved into the technology industry when it really took off. I moved to London in the mid 90s work for Microsoft. And then I went The content marketing revolution sort of started to quietly happen. I realized I was actually already in content marketing. It just wasn’t caught that then. And so I was one of the early sort of evangelists for content marketing in Asia. And I was attending a lot of industry events. And I was listening to a lot of people speak about content marketing, and I was constantly frustrated by what I was hearing. And that was the moment when I said, Well, if I don’t like what I’m hearing, get up on stage and share my own point of view, right. So I, I’m not in the speaking game, because I have a desire to speak. In fact, I’d rather do anything but speak. But I’m here because I’ve got a message and a message that I really believe in. And so I was working with Microsoft at the beginning of the last decade. And I was looking at the content marketing that was going on in the company at the time, and it’s a beautiful work being done. But it wasn’t succeeding, the employees weren’t helping the content to succeed. And then I’m going to work for a Content Agency. And now we’re creating this amazing content. And again, the content wasn’t succeeding. So I sort of, you know, sort of put it all together. And I came up with this philosophy, which I call social leadership. And it’s about empowering employees to go out there, and their voices on social media channels, and become the best advocates that a company can have. Because if you work for any company, especially the big companies, the people will love these companies, but you’ve got to empower the people to go out there and speak. And it’s not about the business, it’s got to be from a point of view that they care about, and it’s got to be a point of view of passion. And then I can talk about the company as well. So I just bought I brought all these different pieces together and, and came up with the digital compensation lens concept. Because I love social media. I loved it from the beginning. I’ve lived all over the world. I stay connected to all my friends, I’ve been blogging for more than a decade. I share a personal blog as well as a professional blog and I just, for me, the whole social media. Revelation while I fully recognize all the negative aspects of it, the positive aspects of it are so amazing. And I work really hard with the big companies that I work for to get them to understand what those positive benefits are and to get their employees really engaged and really powerful on social media. And you know, I’ve got it on that’s published another case study, but I’ve got this amazing proof where from a financial perspective, willing customers pipeline building, it’s incredible what employees can do, but as well as other other benefits that I care about, like they believe in themselves, they they’re proud of themselves, they create their careers start shooting in different directions up higher. So yeah, it’s been a, it’s been an interesting journey, but at the center of it all, is a real passion for communication and passion for connection. I suppose they’re my two, the two bits that bring it all together.

James Taylor
And one of your clients is IBM. And you did obviously your speakers you remember everyone you can accommodate speakers, you Maybe you shared with me a piece of work that you’ve done with one of your clients, IBM, and it was phenomenal. I’ve shared it with so many different people in different organizations over time. I mentioned your name to so many of them, because I thought it really it was it was it was evidence based for start, which is nice. It’s always fun. But it actually kind of showed, you know, when I talk to a lot of C suite executives or even like all direct or middle management level, and some of them are really worried, they kind of know that they go online and they might be doing stuff in a personal capacity, which they kind of hide away somewhere, but they’re worried about causing any brand risk, or saying anything that’s wrong as well. So could you like for those that haven’t and we’ll obviously put a link is good your site and check that work out? What were some of the key findings that you found about how to share an authentic voice about building that doesn’t feel like it’s corporate it but is genuinely adding value to people’s lives?

Andrea Edwards
Yeah, so um, you know, when I say So it’s been, it’s been nearly four years that I’ve been working with IBM, and I’m about to launch another case study, which shows even even more progress. And my message has always been quite different. Right? I see a lot of people on social media and I see a lot of advice on social media. And it’s a broadcast, you know, look at me, look at me, it’s very egotistical, right. And when I started sitting down with the senior executives, the leadership teams, not just with IBM, but other big companies, they were telling me how turned off they are by that sort of approach. And, and I completely understood where they’re coming from, right. So I always talk to them about, you’ve got to find your voice. You know, like, if you’re, if you’re an executive in a business, you know, what is appropriate, what’s not appropriate. And, you know, there’s very specific things that are especially a leader can and cannot do, right. I’ll always remember when I worked with one of the heads of communication for ga Like if I put an article out where I talk about trains and then a week later, GE buys a train business, that that could be interpreted as insider trading. Right. So there’s very specific challenges that simulators have to face, right. So I talked to them about what they can talk about. So some of the some of the executives I’ve worked with, and one of them his biggest passion is work life balance. He’s a senior executive, his biggest priorities getting home for the weekend to spend time with his kids. I took it took him two years to be convinced to publish a personal blog talking about his children and that as a priority, and before that, it was always technology. Right? And I have never seen a blog get more engagement and more gratitude, because people just really appreciated hearing a leader talking from such a human perspective, right, everyone, everyone talks about authentic leadership. But not many, not many people are good at it, but at the same time A lot of the ladies are actually quite scared to do it because they don’t know how it’s going to be seen. So I talked a lot about that, you know, like being authentic, find your voice, what’s your focus what’s what’s your passion, some leaders want to talk to their employees through social media channels. Some leaders want to talk to then want to influence the next generation someone to talk to the country issues if they’re a leader of that country for the business that they work for. So it’s about really getting them focused on what they want to talk about. And then they share that they shared content aligned to that focus their own the companies and other content. So a great hate HBr article, Harvard Business Review article on leadership that really sort of inspires, and so it’s about getting them focused. It’s not about talking about the company. Anyone here is a valuable employee. They don’t want to be a megaphone for business. They want to they want to go out there and stand there in their own right. So what I do is I help them work out what that message should be. For them based on who they are, and what their priorities are. So it’s a different sort of, it’s a different spin. The other thing that I insist on is that they have to do it themselves. They can get help. But I, I advise anyone who wants to succeed as a social leader, you’ve got to do it yourself. You can’t outsource your voice. It’s got to be you. It’s got to be you’re engaging. It’s got to be you’re expressing yourself. Because if you outsource that you will never understand the true potential of social media. It’s the engagement of the on social media that really brings its power to the fore.

James Taylor
What might you say like reflecting your your personality on social media, something I often wonder about is my mic and humor home is quite dark, you know? And it’s pretty, I mean, obviously, there’s a there’s a Britishness and it’s quite dark and it can be maybe slightly cynical at times as well, where generally when when I’m I’m doing most of my my social media and most of really kind of definitely who I am More Republic context, I can think of myself trying to be optimistic. So I don’t really want to see something that’s snarky and negative, even though some of that humor. I really, personally I quite it makes me chocolate makes me laugh. What I think what I want to be thinking about in term, whether you’re a speaker, or executive, in terms of thinking about how to use humor, how to kind of reflect your your own humor or not, when you’re on your social media.

Andrea Edwards
Well, I definitely think you’ve got to let your personality come through. And you know, like, I’m Australian, right? We, I think, you know, being Australians also we get away with all sorts of stuff. It’s true, right? But, you know, the way I participate professionally, is, is different to the way I participate. Personally, my humor, like my hip, my personality is still the same. And I, as the years have gone on, I’ve definitely put more of my humor into into my professional presence. But you know, you should we’ve got to be very You’re aware of cultural differences. I, I I operate all over the world I I’ve lived all over the world. I think all of the world I think it’s a, the people that I’ve worked with in India versus the Philippines versus Australia, New Zealand, London, you know, like Chima doesn’t always translate, right? So what might be hilarious in America might be incredibly offensive in Singapore. So I think there’s a place for humor definitely on social media. And I think if you’re a funny person, and that humor translates, if you’ve got you’ve got to have high cultural intelligence, right? And humor translates you should definitely embrace it The world needs, it needs its entertainers. But if you have a sense of humor that could be divisive. It’s you know, just keep it to your personal Facebook page. You don’t have to be, you know, it’s about being appropriate for the audience where you are right and I’m not the same everywhere. No, my Instagram is very different to my LinkedIn presence, which is different to my Facebook. activity in my Twitter activity. So we’ve all got to be thinking about who the audience is. And it’s very easy to be misconstrued on social media, right? So from a professional perspective, wherever you are, professionally, you know, it’s not about changing who you are, it’s just not you just don’t need to, you don’t need to put everything on the table.

James Taylor
And what about in terms of kind of modes, I guess? Some people love watching short videos, you know, can a short kind of almost like Tick Tock style videos, Instagram videos, IGTV of people watching love can spend a lot of time on YouTube, other people spending more long form articles, who like, you know, quote, cars, or all these different kind of ways that we take in information and we like to be on social media? How does that really relate to let’s say if you’re, whether you’re a speaker or an executive now thinking, Okay, this is a plethora of different platforms and a plethora of different ways that you can share your thoughts and your ideas. What’s that kind of what should we be thinking about in terms of making sense of all this?

Andrea Edwards
Well, I think the first thing is the rules have changed and the change very quickly, the idea that you’ve only got a couple, you know, you’ve got a short attention span, I think that’s changed. People are looking for knowledge on the current situation, and they’re going to go to the sources that provide that knowledge. I’ve always found that senior executives read and they read long form content. Not all of them. Of course, if you’re if you’re a senior executive in the consumer business, then you might it might be appropriate for you to participate on a platform like tik tok or Snapchat, I can’t stand them. My kids are on them. I try. I try. But I it’s just doesn’t work for me, right? So you’ve got to be appropriate to the audience on the platform, and you’ve got to be appropriate to the customer. So it’s two things right? And they’re very different behaviors, but it’s just about making that real conscious connection between where am I and who am I trying to talk to everything. Everything is about your audience. Who is your audience? What do you want to make them feel? What do you want to make them think? You know, my motto is always to make people laugh, or cry. And I that that covers all of my social media platforms, but I’m very different on all my different platforms. You know, you know, like, I’ve got a professional profile, which is LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. And, and, and I’m consistent across those three, but then I’ve got another Facebook platform and another Twitter handle and you know, so it’s multiple, multiple platforms with different things. And some people get overwhelmed by the amount of platforms that are out there. The best place to start is to start from where you’re comfortable. So if Tick Tock appeals to you then going can become superstar on Tick Tock. If LinkedIn appeals to you be a superstar there. So you’ve got to choose your platform based on where your customer is but also where you feel comfortable, because if you’re not comfortable, it’s never going to come across. Well, anyway.

James Taylor
I thought speaker that’s perhaps you know, think okay. I really want to Wondering on social media I really want to share, be sharing a lot more and taking partners can have conversations online. do you advise them to just kind of start with one and go really deep for a while with that? Or should they maybe think about three and then kind of look kind of to develop them and work along with them alongside as time goes on? What would you suggest?

Andrea Edwards
If they’re just starting out now on social media? I think they’ve already missed an opportunity. Up until a couple of months ago, you know, for years now, I’ve been saying to people, speakers, as well as professionals, get on social media, build your voice it’s going to get, it’s getting busier and busier and busier. Okay. A couple of months ago, everyone got on social media, because that is how everyone in the world is communicating today. So the biggest challenge anyone’s gonna face on social media is being heard. Because everyone’s talking, that’s where we’re talking now. Right. So that’s the biggest challenge. The second thing is, it’s not where you are. It’s about being intentional about this. message that you want to get across and the audience that you want to reach and set your intention, who do you want to reach? So if your target is consumers, where are they, you know, like, I can’t tell you which platform to be on, you know where your customers are, or you should. And if you don’t ask your customers, you know, where do they engage. But you can only work out the platforms by doing it yourself. Like, I couldn’t explain to someone how to use Instagram if I hadn’t been on Instagram for a number of years and really liked it. You know, but as a professional, if you are a professional, you should definitely be on LinkedIn as a priority. That I mean, to me, that is always the number one platform for speakers and for business executives. Everyone has to be on LinkedIn and build a voice there are like I said, it’s gotten very, very noisy very, very quickly.

James Taylor
And essentially, I find now when I you know, I’ve been doing social media for a long time. There’s certain platforms I find I naturally gravitate more to than others and I enjoy spending time there. My wife has an almost a completely different set of social media that she spent space over. So I’m always like, Why Why is she loves Twitter and then I’m kind of more of a kind of I love YouTube and Instagram. But and for years I remember kind of doing it and doing it to a certain extent of this is interesting. This is fun. This isn’t this is another way to share ideas and peep conversations, but not really thinking so much of an ROI, or return on that time and just going like oh, this is this is interesting. But then I’ve been thinking more recently and I think about some of the things I’ve just bought like today just I just purchased and it just arrived today, a coffee grinder, a burnt coffee grinder and so I went to you know, finally I’ve got a really nice old style Garcia coffee machine. I’ve had about 10 years but it’s great. It’s built like a tank and I thought I really need to probably upgrade my my grade I have like a nicer grinder to make nicer coffee. Now, when I started go online to learn about which one I should be getting my default was to go to YouTube. And for I basically lost an entire evening, getting totally geeky watching these people who are super passionate about coffee and coffee grinders. And, and because some of them mentioning certain types, certain brands of coffee machines, I thought, that’s the brand I’m going to buy. And so it kind of really came back to me to thought, well, that is a position of influence, whether we like it or not, whether we’re just kind of going online putting stuff out because we’re passionate about a topic. But after a while, you think, well, I am creating some impact, some kind of influence, whether that’s someone buying some things or making a decision about where to go not on that next holiday, because I’ve been an environmental side of things as well. So how do you perceive How do you think of yourself in terms of influence? I know it’s a term I don’t particularly like influence. But a lot of people talk about influencing and being in a social media influence. What’s your take on that?

Andrea Edwards
Oh, you know, I mean, I think the influences are getting a bit of a bit of a bad rap at the moment. You know, they’re being pushed down because the people who should be the heroes of the moment the nurses, the doctors, the frontline workers are being a being held up. And I’ve never been a real fan of the influencer space, especially in the consumer side of things. It’s just, it’s not, it’s not the way it’s not the person I am, you know, from the Kardashians on right? But people are really caught up, they love it, they think it’s great, they find it entertaining, or they find it uncomfortable and interesting. You know, and I think there’s, there’s something for everyone out there. But if you were going to position yourself on on YouTube right now, and that was going to be your number one channel. It is one of the top social media platforms in India. But if say let’s say you were trying to target a business executive today that was a parent. They are at home teaching hungry killing their children trying to do their job. And one of the hardest things for them to do is to sit down and find time to watch videos. So I think we’ve all got to be very conscious of how we communicate at this time, again, based but especially based on what our customers looking like. So I get 70 people are sending my private social media channels are as busy as my public ones, right? And everyone sending me all these videos, but I can never watch any of them. Because usually, if they’re sending them to me privately, they’re rude. Which means I can’t watch in front of my kids and I don’t like putting headphones on because they hurt my ears. So it’s, it’s all about balance, right? I’m not a huge fan of the influencer thing. I remember somebody called me one month and I was like, Whoa, um, but, you know, I don’t do what I do to be positioned as an influencer or anything else. I do what I do because I really believe in my message. And when I’m out there on my social media platforms, that’s why I’m sharing I’m not so I’m not ego driven. I’m not I’m not You know, I don’t want sometimes I’ll walk in and people will run up to me and give me a hug and go, Oh my god, Andrew Edwards. And I’m like, Well, you know, I’m a girl from a country town in Australia, but I just, I love I love what I do. And and I really believe in the power of social media that we can change the world. And I believe in its positive possibilities with a well understanding its negatives. So I think if you want to, don’t focus on being, don’t be focused on being an influencer, focus on delivering real value to a community that you care about, and you want to make their lives better. And to me, that’s a much more impactful thing to do. And the people who do that, who live in that space, it’s not, they’re not necessarily hundreds or millions, hundreds of thousands and millions of followers, but they’re very loyal followers, even if they’re a smaller community, and I think actually a lot more powerful.

James Taylor
And on that note, obviously, we’ll go as we’re recording this today, we’re going through COVID-19 the world’s gonna We’re all experiencing this this together this moment in history. What What advice would you give to because there’s many speakers out there who are obviously floundering, they’re kind of wondering what to do or they’re the calendar is completely gone has completely disappeared. And many of them are in a kind of reactionary type of mode, about just trying to Okay, I need to make up this income I need to do other things. And they’re putting themselves out there in a certain type of way. So you’re I know you’re, you’ve always put your finger on the pulse about what you’re seeing other speakers doing social media and things that you think are good things that you do, and also good for their brands and for the business in general. What what are you seeing what piece of advice would you be giving just now?

Andrea Edwards
Yeah, so I’m just recently I set up a whole bunch of group calls with members of across Asia, the professional speakers associations across Asia, because I was actually quite good. I was actually getting quite disturbed by what I was saying. And I understand why people are doing what they do. Doing but it was like overnight, everyone was pivoting, online selling, sharing successes. Look at me look at me, I’ve won something, webinars and now free and all that sort of good stuff. But to me, I reached out to the speakers associations in Asia and I offered to run sessions where I talked to people about their message for these time. And the first question I said to them, put your hand up if you need to earn money right now. And of course, the majority of people put their hands up, right. And I said, right, we’re on the same boat. That the industry is turned upside down. I’ve been reading you know, because the other thing I do is I read a lot about a lot of different stuff. So I’m monitoring social media, I’m reading like everything. I cover every, every aspect of anything that I’m interested in that and I just found that the way that the speakers were behaving was really jarring with the reality of what our customers and ourselves are feeling right now. So for me personally, these first few weeks when you know, because I’m in Thailand, the very first case of cobit, outside of China was in Thailand. And we had the Chinese New Year, we’ll hand direct flight straight into Paquette. So we’ve been living with this crisis for longer and observing, being careful being cautious, you know, we’ve been monitoring it for longer, right. But basically, what, I just find that the way a lot of the speakers are participating, and it really isn’t a criticism because I understand I really do. It’s not in alignment with how our customers are feeling. You know, our brains aren’t working quite well, at the moment. People are, you know, in order to have a business article that that’s very normal. It’s part of the fight or flight response where, you know, you wake up some days and you feel on top of the world and you can conquer the world and then the next day you wake up and you’re, you’re so down because you’ve noticed you read a story about how the the Viruses impacting the refugees is having a miserable life across Europe. Right? So then I started asking customers, I started asking colleagues, peers, friends, how are you feeling? How you feeling? And it’s probably the question I’ve asked the most. And, you know, it went from anywhere from How the hell do I teach my kids? How do I how do I get through this time? I’m depressed. I don’t know how to do this. I’m struggling with leaders. How do I how do I help my employees work through these time? How do I be a good leader at this time? And so what, what what I what I really wanted to say to all of the speakers around the world is we have to be of service now. There is business and it will come. But I think if we behave in the wrong way, now it will hurt. It will hurt our careers in the long term. You know, anywhere between 12 months and three years, we could potentially be in this situation, right? So it’s a long time. Time coming. So get your training online, get your speaking online, do your videos, but just don’t be pushing, pushing, pushing, because people aren’t ready for it. You know, JK Rowling came out and she she blasted the productivity experts, right just said they didn’t have the right to do that. And, and I think she’s right because people are going through such emotional turmoil. And we need to be sensitive to where the world community is right now. You know, you look at a country like India, the diversity of people in country, you know, from the day workers who were living under a bridge in Delhi with nothing to wait all the way through to the people living in skyscrapers and their family owned the whole building writes very different experiences. But there’s, there’s an anxiety there’s a fear, you know, we don’t know enough about the virus yet. We don’t know enough about its impact. The politicians around the world aren’t helping. There’s not a global approach to this which is making it worse which is going to make it longer. So We need to step into a role if we want to be relevant of service, and we need to talk about the stuff that’s going to help our community prosper. You know, and if we don’t do that, I think we’ll, I think we’ll lose out in the long term. And I, I don’t think if we get it wrong, I don’t think we’ll be on a stage. When when the world opens back up, I really don’t think we’re going to be very sensitive, have high emotional intelligence, and just really be no, try not to operate from a place of fear for our own self, and try and just go into a place of service for our community. If you’ve got a topic that’s relevant right now to your community, you know, health and wellness, right? It’s skyrocketing. Because people are at home, they’re looking, they’re going online to do yoga sessions, bloody sessions. People are baking, they’re cooking, they’re doing all these things, right? So if you can, if you can feed into that space and stand out in that space, go for it, you know, but is your productivity Pitch really what people need to hear right now. And if it’s not, it doesn’t mean it won’t be again. But maybe you need to pivot for the time being, and be really in tune with your audience. We’ve got to be in tune with you. We always need to be in tune with your audience. Right? But on social media, we’ve got to be very intentional again, right?

James Taylor
And what I mean, you’re you said, you’re kind of always you’re looking around, you’re seeing examples what other people are doing. Are you seeing examples there of your perhaps your more kind of classic kind of motivational style expert speaker, obviously, I realized, when I’m saying the word motivation, I guess I’m thinking of a as a flavor because I thought, sometimes I feel you can still be a great speaker and you don’t have to be like a motivational style of speaker. I think there’s great speakers I’ve seen who aren’t motivational, but they move me in some way or they say something in some way that that I think is really, really valuable. Have there been any of those comments? traditional kind of personal development motivational speakers out there that you feel have got that type of emotional intelligence. And they’re putting out something there in some way. Whether it’s to, you know, to keep people’s morale up to help them kind of get through each of their days to deal with stress. What are you seeing out there?

Andrea Edwards
Yeah, I think, you know, some some of the people that I that I’ve been speaking to their positivity experts, right. And positivity is a challenging thing to talk about right now. Because not everyone’s feeling very positive. Right. So how do you talk about positivity, in the context of a world full of fear, and and it isn’t. positivity in its in its essence, isn’t actually the absence of fear. It’s about you know, it’s sort of it digs into resilience, it digs into, you know, the deeper things I mean, I’m saying some people who were talking about like Natalie Turner published a blog recently, which was really, really inspirational and it was talking about the future we can create because we’ve got an opportunity to create it right now. Based on Yeah, the environment. You know, one of my topics that I don’t talk about, that I write a lot about, and I share a lot about is the climate catastrophe that’s coming our way. And, you know, people aren’t really connecting the dots, but we are, this is part of the climate catastrophe. I’m saying the world blaming China for this, I mean, we’re all responsible for what’s going on. If, if we didn’t like what China was doing in their in their markets, then we shouldn’t have been doing business with them. And and now then, of course, we’re facing the fact that the supply chain is 100% reliant on reliance on China and all the safety equipment that we need has to come from one place and, you know, so it’s quite remarkable, but we’re all responsible for where we are as a world, right? So for me, I suppose it’s, it’s the futurists with big hearts that are standing out to me. You know, the people who are who are trying to get people to come together and stay positive. You know, there’s a lot of negativity. There’s a lot of word, you know, conspiracy theories. And I don’t think any of that helps, right? So it’s just gonna
keep us together, share the good news, shout out, shout out beautiful mankind is, you know, what is his name Captain Tom in the UK raising all their money for the NHS, you know, we got to share love, got to share beauty, you know, New York Times article that social media has become a more positive place, which is just so fantastic to see that. And I think we’re all saying that we’re also seeing a lot more people come onto social media, who don’t have a lot of expertise because they haven’t been participating. And they’re coming there, because that’s where we’re talking now. Right. And so I think, you know, we’ve got an opportunity to really turn a lot of things around and to create a new future. And I think as speakers if we can take this take this time, and so, where are people now? How are they feeling? And how can we bring them forward? Towards the world that we will want to create together that’s going to be better for everyone. And, you know, it sounds like very optimistic. You said earlier, you’re a bit of a cynic. I think we’re going to put cynicism aside. For a while. The world was getting far too cynical. And some of the really smart people I know. We’re getting far too cynical. And I, I can be cynical with the best of them. But I refuse to let cynicism overtake me. No. So I think we’ve gotten up, we’ve got an opportunity, but it’s got to be about we’ve got a guide, we’ve got to, we’ve got to help. We’ve got to we’ve got a we’ve got to be a bomb for society if we want to be relevant right now. And and that can be a big step away from what we might have been doing even a couple of months ago. When you look at things like you know, the top skills of the future, about you know, you talk about creativity. I think creativity is still very, very relevant. But how do you talk about it right now in this situation? Have you been? Have you?

James Taylor
Yeah, actually? Yeah, it was. It was actually interesting. I was talking with a client this morning about about this, who was a, it’s a foreign government, a government in the Middle East, who’s actually asked me to come and do a series of videos and which are going to be social media video. So a short one minute is that I do a lot of these little one minute videos, these kind of, I call them snackable, stackable content. So it’s just something very actionable, that I have a framework that I can do. And we were just having a discussion. Obviously, they brought me in because they want someone who’s going to talk about creativity, but the spin the angle that we’re really taking about is really about remote creativity. When you’re stuck in my head. I’m kind of imagining I’m that person who’s sitting in a one bedroom apartment, maybe with two kids partner, two kids can’t go out just now. So it’s easy thing like creativity feels very, you know, lightweight. It doesn’t really so how does As it relates to them and, and we’re just gonna, we were just talking this morning about different ideas like on my topic for someone creativity, how that applies. So for example, things like the actual the physical space in which you work in having a creative little creative exercise, especially if you’re working with you’re spending time a lot of time with kids or younger people as well. How you get, you know, we were talking about getting creative with finances, your finances, you’re having to think about things I know, we’re certainly very creative. And I think this is a big change. I think that will probably happen, I would say definitely here in the UK, where I’m speaking from just now. But people like Richard Africa talk about what’s the single thing you can do to deal with environmental crisis crisis. And he said, Don’t waste don’t waste don’t waste. And so we’re seeing in terms of how our cooking patterns have changed, and we’re actually getting very creative now we think, oh, let’s try what we did that thing. What if we did that with that and and so on. I’m actually seeing from this, from my perspective, I’m seeing an outpouring of creativity in terms of how we’re doing things. And also that doesn’t, doesn’t even include in terms of what’s going on in the world of medicine, and, you know, medical devices. The things are being built at incredible speeds and huge ingenuity and innovation as well. But just on the personal side, I definitely feel you need to you need to adapt your message for what is in people’s hearts and in their heads just now.

Andrea Edwards
Yeah, I think you always do. But it’s never been more important because your looks or your scans or your Facebook page or LinkedIn fades and, you know, sometimes you people still so many people, it’s like business as usual on LinkedIn. And you see the marketing campaigns from businesses and they obviously haven’t switched them off. Like how can you not be in tune and, and of course, the mistakes are coming out, you know, there was To an insurance company in India, that to absolutely ridiculous campaign around death, just at the beginning of, you know, just as a pandemic was really starting to take hold, and, you know, so we’ve, you know, it’s always important to be in tune with your customer, whoever, whoever that is for you. And whatever you do whatever you speak about pivoting to where people are being really authentic, being really heart driven. The other thing that I think is really important is if you’re not an emotionally intelligent person naturally go and read up about emotional intelligence, understand it, because that’s what’s gonna help you succeed at this time.

James Taylor
Now, let’s talk about some more prosaic things as well. Are there other any kind of online resources or tools or apps that you find I kind of getting you know, you’ve found you’ve always going to be using but you find them even more useful. Now. I think that maybe you’ve discovered now that you think after two years time, perhaps you still think it’s gonna be giving value to your life and your work.

Andrea Edwards
Well, I have to tell you a secret. I recently discovered iMovie and iMovie on my phone. And so I realized I can do little bits of video and put them together. So I’m feeling very clever. Because I’m, it’s just one of those things I write, I like to write. And so my blogs are long, you know, two to two and a half thousand words. And I’ve always liked to write and it but I know that people like video as well. So I’m trying to do a bit more of a mix. And I’m going to be doing a lot more mimics I’m going to do my next book was going to be the social leadership Manifesto, which is my sort of philosophy on social media. And I’ve decided I’m going to do it as a series of videos on YouTube. Because I think it’s a really important message for this time. It’s not going to be short form. I don’t do anything short. But apps wise, I’ve got to tell you, I’m very I’m very young. I’m very loyal to the app. I use I can’t tell you how many I’ve subscribed to, I can’t tell you how many I pay for. And my husband has asked me to go and look at all the apps that I paid for and start, stop paying for the ones that I haven’t used. Because you know, that’s the first thing you do. So I’m, I’m, I’m pretty basic. And I always have been pretty basic because it’s not about the fashion the show. For me, it’s about the message. I think the probably the size I value the most is Shutterstock Shutterstock. Not just for the quality of the image images that they’ve got, but also for the editing that they use. They’re going to edit this page, but i’m, i’m not i’m not a heavy up user. I never have been. So I’m sorry. I’m what is because I’m inspirational to share that.

James Taylor
I know a lot of people that I’ve kind of gone back and forth with use tools in the past which have things like Hootsuite, for example, which helped manage all of our social media. And we’ve actually found out ourselves to go completely back the other way. We can do pretty much everything natively now instead, yeah. What do you what do you do to manage all these different social channels, social listening and also posting?

Andrea Edwards
Well, I used to be very active with Hootsuite. And I know it’s probably been about 18 months now. And I, that’s one of the probably one of the accounts I need to cancel. But I’m just interacting as I as I interact, so it’s real. I don’t I’m not doing as much as I used to do a long time ago. I’m doing less anyway. So. But yeah, so I’m interacting in real time. All the time. I think the automation platforms are great. But I don’t feel that I mean, I’m, I’m across multiple social media platforms, but I feel that I’m in control of all of them. I’m not overwhelmed by them. And I’m not just there to be there. I’m there for a reason. So yeah, sorry. Yeah. So I’m what I’m less inclined towards Oh, Sort of bats these days.

James Taylor
And more about, you know, my emotional intelligence. Are there any books you’d recommend for someone that listening to just now really wants to kind of Read more about this think more about this so that any good kind of books or places to go to this think about more about emotional intelligence.

Andrea Edwards
I was reading an article it was on on ink, and I don’t read a lot of stuff on ink the other day, which was about emotional talent, intelligence. So Daniel was a Daniel Goleman, who wrote the original book on it. Does that sound right?

James Taylor
Yeah, can’t remember actually. Yeah, we can have a link to it here as well.

Andrea Edwards
Yeah. I kind of liked the book. It was a bit academic for me. But this other article was talking to leaders about being emotionally intelligent at this time. And it was like five tips. And it was like, well, I find it really hard. I find that I don’t need to learn about emotional intelligence because I am. Right so you don’t need to give me a tip on how to be emotionally intelligent. I know. I can tell that somebody is feeling uncomfortable. I can tell that someone’s excited you know, I’ve got I I just an in tune with other people. So I’ve never gone and read a book on it because I don’t need to be Because I am, you know, domain, but there are a lot there’s a lot of information out there these days for emotional intelligence and, and I think if you don’t naturally have that skill, I definitely think it’s one you should be looking to master anyway. But at this time in particular, you know, we were hearing stories of managers who are making their employees seen on video, video all day, so that they know that the employees are working, but that the employee still has to homeschool their children. You know, in Asia, there’s often three generations of whole community living together in a house. You know, it’s, we’ve got to be a lot more in tune with what we’re asking about people, but also the emotional sort of toll that this situation is having on people. We can’t expect them to be the same as if they’re in the office, because it’s not the same night and you know, if someone’s reading up about what’s going on at the moment, they’re really interested in what’s going on there. They’re investing deeply on what’s going on in mind is going to be in a million different pieces trying to bring it all together. So expecting them to deliver an eight hour day with with the complexity that exists around them in their home life is just ridiculous. And this is happening all over the world at the moment, these expectations that, you know, my husband works with an American company, and it was all a big joke until a couple of weeks ago. You know, they’re laughing about it, and then all of a sudden, they started to understand that this is a little bit more serious. And then then they started to go into a little bit more awareness, I suppose of the situation that they didn’t give Steve that credit when he was going through it. So that was that was that was pretty interesting watching that evolve. And I think we’re all very, very different stages. A lot of people haven’t even accepted it.

James Taylor
A lot of people don’t agree with what what governments are doing right. Depending depending on where you’re where you’re listening to this from just now you’re in your you’re perhaps in Different stage of this process and also, you know, we went about, you know, the, the stages of you of grieving you know, you first you deny and then you need to finally come through to acceptance. So we’re on that on different trajectories as well. And a final thing, Andrew if people want to kind of thank you so much for coming on today I know this is your You are so passionate about this, about this topic about, about communication and, and communicating in an authentic kind of way. And I know you kind of live this, you breed this as well. where’s the best place for people to go to learn more about you, your writing your different social play is a one ticket place that they can go they can go find all the different places you’re on.

Andrea Edwards
So Andrea T Edwards is my professional name. So that’s my website, as well as my Twitter handle LinkedIn, Facebook, and I’ve got some other profiles but they’re not my professional one. So if you want to come and join me there, I’m, um that’s where more of me comes to the for the But you know, I am really passionate about it. I think we need to evolve as a species, we need to lift up human consciousness, human consciousness needs to rise up, we have an opportunity to do it. And the climate crisis was always gonna cause an economic catastrophe. So it were in that. So we get to rebuild now, and we get to rebuild before before it’s too late. And I think so I think we’re beginning a really massive opportunity, that to the speaking community, it’s a time to act with great integrity, to be really, really connected to the feelings that are ricocheting all around the world, right. People are really really scared. They’re frightened. People like me on on, I’m excited about what we can create. But we’ve got a long way to go before we can get there, right and we have to be in shape. with what’s going on, and, and be relevant to this time, and even if people just say, for the next three months, I’m just gonna, I’m just going to be of service to my community and do what I can do to help them. And that will set you up for the long term. But if you get it wrong right now, if your message is really jarring to the point of it and being offensive to people in your community, I think it will be hard to come back from that. And that’s, that’s that’s what I really wanted to get across today. And thanks so much, James, for giving me the opportunity. Because we can do this and let’s support each other through it. It’s really hard time for entire community. But we can come through this but it is a chance for us to stand up and operate at a different level. And I’m excited to see that

James Taylor
well Andrea, thank you so much for coming on today. Sharing me we can hear in your voice your passion for this as well and thank you for the sharing and and kind of just really Telling the community speak community out there. Some of those wise words as well and I wish you all the best and stay healthy and stay safe. Thank you so much for coming on the Speakers Life today.

Andrea Edwards
Thanks for having me.

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