Teachers that Tweet – they’re everywhere, aren’t they? They’re Tweeting before they get to school in the morning, they’re Tweeting when they get home in the afternoon, and they’re discussing, debating, developing and planning on Twitter in the evenings. They’re sharing resources and coaching each other, even organizing professional development meet ups and camps during the weekends and holidays. It’s commendable how much Tweeting they’re doing, isn’t it? They’re must be thousands if not hundreds of thousands of educators around the world on Twitter.
So how do you stand out? How do you Tweet like a leader? What do great Tweachers do or say that makes others want to follow them?
What makes you stand out on Twitter as a leader?
Well, when teachers and other school staff were asked what they wanted from a leader, the answers were pretty overwhelming – they want to feel valued, trusted, supported, respected, involved, listened to. They want leaders who have vision, who are fair, who have integrity, who are honest. They want leaders who can walk the talk.
So how do you do that on Twitter? If that’s what teachers say they want from the people who lead them, what do you have to do to make them feel that way, to show them in 140 characters that you are someone worth following? How do you Tweet the walk? Is that even possible? Is that even the right metaphor?
It turns out it’s not rocket science (unless of course you’re a physics teacher, and that’s what you’re looking for). It’s giving people what they need to help them to feel at least safe and welcome in your company on Twitter, and at best making them feel inspired, motivated and self-fulfilled with your Tweets, links and your interactions.
So what’s the formula?
According to Daniel Goleman, emotional Intelligence (EI or EQ) is a great predictor of “What Makes a Leader”. In fact, EQ is an even greater predictor of personal and organizational success that IQ.
So can you Tweet with emotional intelligence? What do you say? How do you do it?
Here’s 12 ways to check if your Twitter talk shows you’re emotionally intelligent, if you’ve got what it takes to be a leader.
- Social awareness – who are you speaking to when you Tweet? Who is your audience? Put yourself in their shoes – empathize with them – what content would they value? Would they want to hear what you are saying? Would it be of interest to them? How can you be of service to them? How will the content of what you are saying make them feel? How does it make you appear?
- Developing others – how do you encourage others to speak and expand their thinking? Do you ask questions? Do you show an interest in what others are thinking and posting? Or do you take the easy option and just press the favourite button?
- Self-awareness – are your posts all about you? Do you speak to other people or just shout out loud. How can you demonstrate your self-awareness through Twitter? Do you retweet others tweets, do you show others you value their thoughts?
- Relationship management – how do you welcome new followers? How do you build rapport with others? Do you welcome them, or do you just count the numbers? How would you acknowledge someone in real life that shows an interest in what you are saying?
- Vision – do you have a vision or do you just ramble and Tweet about anything that takes your fancy? Could people tell from your Tweets what you stand for? What you believe in?
- Self-management – are you always available on Twitter or do you show others that you value yourself as well? Do you have some down time or do you have a 24/7 open door policy? What does it say about you if you are always available to others? Would you want to follow a leader who never sleeps?
- Authenticity – do you Tweet when you have something to say or do you set your Tweets to post automatically? Are people more likely to trust someone who is present and can respond or an absent robot who talks out loud on a regular basis?
- Outward facing – do you seek out interesting people to follow? Do you demonstrate that you are a learner? Do you follow people who are not in your field of work? Where do you get new ideas from? Do you link learning from different sources? Do you Retweet posts or just favourite them and keep them to yourself? Do you share articles and content that is not just about yourself?
- Team player – do you boast about what you are doing and how successful you are? Or are you modest and humble? Do you give others credit for what they do? Are a helpful collaborator or a lone wolf who craves the limelight? Do you use the word “I” a lot in your Tweets or do you include and mention others more?
- Strategic – is it quality or quantity that matters? Less is more? How do you demonstrate your strategic thinking? Are you astute and smart or a busy fool? What do you reveal with the number of times you Tweet?
- Listen – when someone speaks directly to you do you answer back? How do you show them you have heard what they have said? Do you respond to them or just tell them more about you? Do you listen and read to respond to them or to talk about yourself?
- Catalyst for change – what do you bring to the party? How do you demonstrate your uniqueness? Do you come across as optimistic and hopeful or pessimistic and hopeless? Do you challenge the status quo, do you ‘think differently’ or do you follow the herd and join in with the crowd? Are you asking big questions and looking for novel solutions or are your tweets bland statements? Run of the mill everyday nonsense or something that sparks my curiosity? Do you inspire me?
Anything we say in public is information about ourselves – we cannot not communicate.
So what do your Tweets say about you? What do you want them to say about you?
Would you want to follow you?