We can make the following checks today, using high visibility online networks, on people that we meet online. This can help us assess people we meet initially, to decide whether to move onto a higher-value level of connection, be that offering them help or seeking help from them.
1) Online dynamic profiles - is the person doing what they say they are doing ?
2) Activity levels - is that person busy, showing high energy levels ?
3) Original thinking - can they think outside the box and help move organisations forward ?
4) Leader qualities - does that person show leadership in their subject area ?
5) Followers - have they attracted independent historic referrals or an online following ?
6) Team leadership - can that person work with others and lead them through new tasks ?
7) Reliability - in personal "transactions" do they do what they said what they would ?
8) Accessibility - how easy is it to reach that person, how responsive are they ?
9) Two way - do they understand their Public Relations today must be two way ?
10) Customer focus - do they help you realise your objectives on behalf of your customers ?
11) Clarity - is it clear what they are doing and where they are going ?
12) Personal skills - do they understand the value of face to face meetings ?
13) Openness - do they listen to others with the intention of helping or learning ?
14) Genuine - are they honest about their skills, do they make provision for their weak spots ?
15) Planning - are their objectives visible, and do they engage on that basis ?
Of course we don't all score highly out of 10 in all areas, we are all different. We can at least hope that the people we deal with understand their own strengths and weaknesses well enough to have developed coping strategies where needed. It is on that basis we have sufficient trust to engage with people we believe can help deliver our objectives.
And this does mean more extensive use of networking sites and tools, not only to research others but also for publication to show what we are all about !
Article by Peter Jones
Consultant, Blue Oyster Product Development