For a long while now, I’ve been getting involved with things going on in my city, exploring how social networks and different ways of working can make things happen.

I have the benefit of ‘a few’ years experience but don’t yet consider myself in the ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ category. My employer trusts me, I don’t take liberties and I’ve been recognised at work for being honest, open and trusted and constructively telling it how it is and might be.

At the end of a meeting some time ago someone said “that wasn’t like working with the council at all”. Whilst I took it as a back handed compliment, it irked me in considering what the initial expectation had been; that perhaps it would be difficult to make progress, to discuss things even.

One of the people who I talked to about what we do at the council, suggested as I was seen as open and transparent through my individual social media presence, it had made a difference to how they interacted. That someone had taken time to do some homework about who to talk to and made the effort to find discussion forums/offer a discussion was appreciated. And that’s the point; people relate to people first, not organisations.

It meant a lot that someone related to me because I was a person, not just an employee or representative. The fact that I’d used my individual social media account probably made a difference too.

So sometimes whilst it’s good to talk, it’s better to go listen to what others have to say.

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