New Area for Social Media Training?

Preparations for training for Fall is completely owning my mind right now; and of course, if you know me, I spend a bit of time on social media, and, so between the two, I’ve been thinking about social media training.

We have all come to accept that social media must be a platform to educate, learn, and socialize on. Through experience and growing pains, we have learned that there are advantages and disadvantages to social media. As with everything, we’ve created best practices and trainings on how to use different platforms and when to use them and how to analyze the statistics.

Nowadays, if you are not able to do at least basic social media and understand basic terminology you are behind. Watching social media lately, despite all the best practices and skills we’ve created trainings for, its become apparent that we may have forgotten one key topic to address in workshops and trainings: How to handle conflict management on your platforms.

Courtesy of erelations.info

Courtesy of erelations.info

We can handle the comments that may be negative or challenging us say from a customer or student in “official” remarks and responses. But for those daily off the cuff conversations we all have on social media with family, friends and each other, our conflict management and handling of tense situations is all over the place. For some reason we are not able to acknowledge that there may be a certain point we need to take a conversation off line to face-to-face. We are trying to manage conflict resolutions in 140 characters, and at times it’s proving to be a challenge if we’re being optimistic.

Perhaps we’re not managing ourselves when it comes to conflict on our social media platforms because of the invisible wall that we’ve mentally created that seems to shield us from “direct” contact with the other person?

Perhaps we need to really assess what are good practices in handling tense situations or conflict on social media platforms and steps or practices to help manage those situations such as acknowledging when a conversation needs to go face-to-face, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc.

Maybe we just need a reminder that while everything is online, there’s still a human behind the online identity and we still need to conduct ourselves in best conflict management practices, just as we would in person, if we want learning and growth to happen.

Or maybe it’s just acknowledging that doing EVERYTHING online isn’t possible and even with the most advanced of technologies there are some things we must do in person and face-to-face because 140 characters or a public facebook post is not able to do.

I’m not sure what my personal answer is to this, but as I gear up for training and a new year, I’m definitely thinking about training on not only how to use platforms and how to get the most out of them but also best practices for what we do on them.

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!

Resources:

Business Review Canada: What to do if a Social Media Fight Breaks Out on Your Turf

Brand Driven Digital: How to Moderate Conflicts Within Social Media

Conflict Resolution Network: Conflict Resolving Media

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About bdproffer

I am currently the Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, web 2.0, LGBT issues and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer for Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
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