frequent, lightweight interactions

Of “the five rules for normal management“, rule number three is short and sweet:

#3. Communicate regularly

The list of “rules for normal management” jumps to internal communication when stipulating the need to communicate regularly with colleagues: “Start each meeting with the minutes and those action steps committed at the last meeting. Don’t be shy to push your colleagues to deliver on their promises. Hopefully they’ll reciprocate. Follow through.

And it’s a universal truth, as every telco will remind you to communicate regularly. Especially on Mother’s Day! I grew up with the British Telecom ads reminding us that 

it’s good to talk.

And if it’s good to talk, it’s also good to inspire future conversations. Like the story teller at the dinner party; everyone loves inviting that friend who’s the story teller who engages everyone and who sparks the conversation. It’s the same in a business meeting. And in terms of advertising too. Story telling is overused nowadays, as a generic buzz word. But it’s not the ‘telling’ that’s vital. It’s the regularly engagement.

Paul Adams was a head of design at Facebook when he wrote his book, Grouped, where he uses the phrase

frequent, light-weight interactions

to describe how we build relationships across social platforms as well as in the real world. Well, we do that in the work place too, as per the rules of normal management: communicate regularly.

Think about it, that’s how we build relationships with friends. That’s how we build relationships with products and services. Frequently interacting. Not heavy conversations. But light-weight ones, mainly. We get to know a lot about each other, over a short time, but catching up regularly.

We need to do this with colleagues and stakeholders. We need to do this with customers.

And advertisers need to do this with their target audiences. All their target audiences.

Key here is to acknowledge that there are different audiences. We can have one key message to get across, but we’ll frame it differently, to different people at different times. And the best way to get it across to these different audiences is to reinforce the point in different ways, regularly.

I see that Simon Kemp has recently shared another of his aphorisms on Linkedin.

This idea of inspiring others to talk favourably about you / your brand works beyond “social media”. It’s applicable to all sorts of areas in life and in business: A brand, a business, a business partner, a manager, an employee, a friend, a parent, a child all need to know how to spark further, favourable conversations.

Let’s ask ourselves these two questions:

Which business has sparked a conversation around your dinner table this week?

Which conversations, as individuals, should we have sparked last week but didn’t?

And now let’s look at how we can use regular communications – or frequent, light-weight interactions – to spark new conversations with a range of audiences going forward.

This post first appeared on LINKEDIN.