How do you sharpen your saw? #ICChat discusses

The first #ICChat on internal communications for 2011 was a cozy affair, with great conversation about internal comm skills for the second decade of the new millennium. We didn’t need many questions to prime the pump — just one on how you keep your skills sharp, on whether social media skills were different, and one on how much time each month you dedicate to skills development and polishing.

Getting out among one’s fellow communicators, whether in person or virtually is a solid practice.

CommAMMO: @ShannonRenee I’ve attended a couple of Mashable/social media club type soirees – also try to reach beyond comms orgs. #icchat

susancellura: I continue to identify and attend key webinars, stay involved in my local IABC chapter and interact w/communicators across the world #icchat

ShannonRenee: A1 meetups are good way to stay active & their times tend to be more flexible than formal association mtgs #icchat

ShannonRenee: A1 keeping the saw sharp: collaboration – if I can’t make webinar/event, I have asked our managing editor to go & bring back info #icchat

Thank heavens, our basic skills are still important!

ShannonRenee: A1 still have to know how to write…every so often I attend writing workshops as our language & grammar evolve #icchat

susancellura: @CommAMMO Agree w/@ShannonRenee – writing is still the most important skill needed #icchat

Social media seems mainly to be an application of our existing skills, rather than requiring a whole new set of skills.

susancellura: A2 I think interaction is key for all comms. SM is another tool to build a relationship with clients. It’s about applying the tools. #icchat

susancellura: A2 And, employees have already embraced social media. Not using the tools internally is a missed opportunity to connect. #icchat

ShannonRenee: A2 not sure if the SM skills are “materially” diff from overall comm skills…SM does require us to use our comm skills in new ways #icchat

nishland: @shannonrenee @CommAMMO I think you need good overall comms skills in social media. no diff really. #icchat

I confess to a fair amount of relief at these sentiments. That “old dog – new tricks” thing gets me sometimes:

commammo: @csledzik Huge challenge for me is to keep abreast of all the new stuff – often feel like me brain is full… #icchat

Only one person gave an actual count of hours spent on honing skills — but there was advice on how to do it, and even possible subjects for further learning.

susancellura: A3 Try to push myself every day when interacting with clients. Specifically, I’d say 3 hrs w/webinars, etc. #icchat

csledzik: A3 #icchat I spend a lot of time “learning,” but that’s diff. than “honing.” Scared of doing webinar/workshop on something I already know.

CommAMMO: I am in process of setting a skill goal – interested in learning video tools, 4 examp – but struggling to carve out the time. #icchat

susancellura: @CommAMMO I want to get better at video, as well. Especially if doing it myself, which happens quite a bit. #icchat

It was a nice start to the #ICChat year — we always hope for more participation. Invite someone to our next chat: Thursday, February 17, 2011, at 10 a.m. Eastern.  Read the 20 January transcript here. (Be warned, a couple of spammers laid it on the hashtag pretty thick…as @RJFarr said, “grrr…”)

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