Posts Tagged ‘people’

Stop Judging and Start Supporting Others

Posted on: November 2nd, 2012 by Geoff Livingston 15 Comments

Good VS Evil
Image by Sabrintha Linda

You know the old glass is half full metaphor.

Well that applies to the way we talk and critique others. We can support the strong points someone offers, or we can tear them up.

This is particularly true of teams, communities and other group activities.

Harvard Business Review ran a great piece by Rosabeth Kanter a couple of months ago in which she talks abut creating a positive culture of respect.

“Winners can maintain high aspirations and act generously toward others,” said Kanter. “Losers are more likely to blame others and disdain them as mediocre, creating a culture of finger-pointing and infighting.”

This struck me. I’m not a good manager of people.

But one thing I have learned from those experiences that I apply to my online and work life is the need to focus on the positive. When I focus on people’s positive attributes and celebrate them publicly and privately things go so much smoother.

It’s not that I don’t see their negative sides. Believe me, I am a judgmental jerk, and the person I judge the most is myself. But when things are going well, I choose to ignore flaws.

This is true of when I’m a team player, too.

Conversely, the negativity of harsh judgment and criticism only makes for a bad situation. Even if I don’t voice that criticism, I really dislike participating in team efforts with people.

Notice that the people’s actual actions have very little to do with the outcome.

Rather, it has everything to do with whether I am judging them, or accepting them for who they are.

When I find myself in a negative place with others where things don’t look so rosy, I need to check my thinking.

Am I levying judgment or am I supporting others’ strengths?

What do you think of team play, positive and negative?

Klout versus Reality

Posted on: November 15th, 2010 by Geoff Livingston 19 Comments

Strong Arm on the Subway

“Spreading your content across multiple networks will now directly impact your Klout score. As on Twitter, our underlying premise for influence is not the number of friends or followers you have, but your ability to drive action. Create great content and engage with your network and you will see your Klout score continue to rise!”

This is the message Klout sent my friend Maddie Grant and myself when we added Facebook to our score. Great to hear successful spamming is rewarded with a strong Klout score.

Klout’s become a bit of a well-discussed defacto influence measure. But even though it takes a wide variety of mainstream social network measures — including retweeting, conversation, Facebook comments, and updates scores monthly — I wonder how effective it really is.


For example, consider my Klout profile. Even though it was just updated, it lists Live Earth as one my primary influencers. This is because I RTed Live Earth every week at least once until last May. But Klout has failed to 1) update my profile to reflect current influencers and, more importantly, 2) understand why someone may be cited frequently. I was primarily RTing Live Earth because they were publishing my blog posts! So was I really influenced by myself? Even I am not that nihilistic.

There are other profiles in the influenced by/influencer of categories that I seriously question, too. I suppose that is to be expected from an algorithm. I also suppose it is to much to expect Klout to capture the zeitgeist, a moment when someone becomes suddenly influential due to an act or a situation.

There is really a lot to criticize about Klout. I agree with Mark Krynsky in particular that Klout needs data elements in addition to a better understanding of why people interact with each other. In addition, as KD Paine says, data can only take you so far, there’s a need for human analysis.

But more criticism is deserved, specifically to the communicators who have given Klout so much credence. While an interesting metric, it can tell you as much about people and their social networks as a barometer reading can tell a layperson about the weather. Consider the source.