Thursday, September 22, 2005

Virtual Handshake/ Character

If you're not signed up with Ryze yet, I heartily recommend it. It's a business networking site, and not one that I've put to full use yet, but the scant participation I have had in two discussion fora has been quite helpful, even if just to say I was discussing business with colleagues in India and the USA.

On Ryze there's a group called Virtual Handshake, based on the book of the same name.

Today I spotted a neat post on the topic of character:

"Character must be earned. It is not rewarded or taken lightly. One's whole being is affected by the quality of their character. It is, after all, how people will see and respond to your words and actions that will determine what "type" of person you are perceived as being.

Funny how we have a way of "knowing" when someone is of good or bad character. Character is not something you can touch but you can feel it, you can't really see it but you know the signs, you can't hear it but you get the verbal signals. Somewhat like the wind, you know it's there because you know.

In this Forum (Ryze) and in life....character can make or break your personal and business success. People can tell what your real motivation is by summing all of the above signals together. i.e. if you're in it only for the money, they'll pick up on this and back off. Conversely, if you are sincere and in it to help them better their situation and meet their goals they're willing to work with you at all levels."

What's really interesting to read is the replies to this post and the wonderful variety of perspectives that the group brings.

Thanks to John Veitch for pointing this post out, on the Virtual Handshake NZ Yahoogroup.

Getting back to the post about character, it made me think: some people distrust dealing with people over the internet because it offers anonymity and prevents you from really knowing someone.

While that's true, it's also true that the internet allows you to know a person better than ever, if that person keeps a blog, participates in fora (okay, forums, but that grammar bugs me!) like Ryze and LinkedIn, and has an informative website.

LinkedIn even lets you offer endorsements for people you've worked with. And I've noticed on some blogs (like Scobleizer) a map showing where the blogger is, right now. Talk about always-on! If you want, anonymity can disappear.

So what am I saying? Let's sum up:

* Get yourself on Ryze and join the Virtual Handshake network
* If you're in New Zealand, join the Virtual Handshake NZ Yahoogroup
* The internet can offer either anonymity or transparency. My pick is that transparency will win out, and people who choose to be shady will find it hard to do business, as their customers favour companies and individuals who are above board.


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