Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Social Media, Stereotyping Strengths and Horn Blowing

The ABA Journal published an article discussing whether Web 2.0 plays to women's "strengths" more than men's.

Based on my 22 years in the legal profession, I agree that generally women are less comfortable blowing their own horn than some men seem to be. I don't agree with a view that women are better at building and nurturing relationships and that they are better at using social media to do so.

In fact, I don't see a lot of lawyers using social media to build strong personal relationships. I see lawyers using it to raise their credibility and visibility which is wonderful, but this is not the same as actually establishing and maintaining personal relationships.

Social media is a doorway to relationships but many lawyers stand on the threshold without ever saying hello. For example, if you typically send a LinkedIn request without a personalized message, you are doing exactly what I'm talking about.

Using social media like LinkedIn, blogs and Twitter, plus websites, to provide value, stay in touch and demonstrate knowledge and expertise, increases your credibility and raises your visibility. Regardless of whether you are a female or male lawyer, using social media to do so is often a lower key, more comfortable way to stay visible and/or toot your own horn than sending personal success story emails or walking the halls pounding your own chest.

Why not give it a try?

If you are interested in coaching to enhance your credibility, raise your visibility, develop stronger relationships and bring in more business, please contact me.