What Are You Contributing to the Conversation?

Nothing? Noise? Value? 

There’s a global conversation happening and you can either choose to be a part of it or refuse to engage. If the choice is to not participate, you do so at your own peril … because the conversation will go on without you.

If you do engage, what are you contributing? Is it something of value that benefits your target audience? Or, is it self-indulgent noise that detracts from your executive brand? What you say, how you say, and how often you participate … does matter.

Blank slate … In the evolving Web 2.0 world, this finance executive might show up but he contributes nothing to the conversation. Either he is too busy, is networking-challenged, or perhaps sees no value in engaging. If he shows up, his Linked In profile is bereft of any details that would position him as a high-value candidate. At best, this executive is a place holder. At worst, he may be spiraling towards extinction.

Branding nightmare … It’s all about me. It’s the other guy’s fault. That company discriminates. That recruiter isn’t listening. Noise … and it sends the wrong message. Since authenticity is key in creating a branded, visible presence … you ARE sending a message with every post whether you realize it or not.

Differentiation … What are you reading? What conferences or seminars are you attending? Are you presenting or serving on a panel discussion? What resources have you found? Are you in a leadership position with an organization such as FEI? What are you curious about from a professional perspective? Social media is about sharing, not selling. Finance executives who embrace this mentality create visible distinction for themselves as subject matter experts and high-value targets.

Do you show up and if so, what are you contributing to the conversation?

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3 Responses to What Are You Contributing to the Conversation?

  1. Mike Wilke says:

    Zing!
    What an insightful, relevant and helpful post.
    My view is that showing up but contributing nothing (blank) . . . might be worse than not showing up at all!
    As far as noise goes, does that include spamming others? In my book it does.
    Contributing useful content\conversation will differentiate a CFO. And differentiation leads to branding. Right?
    Mike

  2. Dear Cindy,
    Thank you for writing this post! The section on “Differentiation” provides particularly helpful and clear examples of how to engage in and contribute to the conversation. Many thanks for sharing this valuable post with career seekers and colleagues!
    Shahrzad (Arasteh)

  3. Sara says:

    Cindy
    I agree with everything you say. Particularly notable to me is the note on ‘noise.’ I try to participate and learn from others in various groups and often find a few people who are so involved in promoting their opinions, they start and end with a put down of the question and/or people who dare to think differently than themselves.
    Whether the other participants have contributed in an effective way is for others to glean from reading and not from another person’s response. When you find your input focusing on reaction to others’ it’s time to rething your participation. Your contributions should always focus on the knowledge you can offer or the question you have.

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