Stop being so damn agreeable.

I am an addict to Twitter chats. One I really enjoy is #likeablechat. It flows nicely, has some pretty good questions and is at a time when people can actually join in, Sunday 10PM EST.

As I take part in more chats, I’m realizing how agreeable people are. A quick glance of the transcript shows a lot of agreeing and sharing others’ ideas. Hey that’s great, but if we came here to agree with everyone, what’s the point? We don’t learn from agreeing all the time, and it’s boring.

The more frustrating thing I find is most ideas are so utopian it makes me gag. Maybe I’m wrong, but is the purpose of a chat to create the most beautifully crafted quotable post, and see how many times it can be RTed? Sometimes it seems that way.

There are rarely any messages that go against what the masses are RTing and +1ing. When there are, they usually are quickly overtaken by other more positive messages. I used to be one of those 100% positive messages. Here’s a post from last night that you’d rarely see on my stream, but I believe it to be true:

Yes there’s a typo in my tweet. “Isn’t”
Yes it’s unpolished. Some would say I’m a bad writer, especially at 140 characters. 

The Response
The response I got was fabulous. Lots of people disagreed! It was great. I’d like to share two comments that caught my eye and I appreciated. Unfortunately most of the other disagreements came in the form of RTs. Come on people there’s nothing original in a RT. How are we to learn, if we just repeat ourselves?

@MayzYap Profits may me the ends for companies but it’s not sustainable as means. Providing value+innovation+quality!

@DaveKerpen: No way @dougridley many co. not just driven towards profits. @likeabemedia driven to change the world. #LikeableChat

So what did a honest, but different answer do?
For me it made the conversation more honest and interesting. In this conversation we couldn’t talk about a company’s drive and building relationships without mentioning that money is a huge factor. Someone can build as many meaningful relationships as they want, but without profits a company wouldn’t exist. Of course relationships can lead to profits, but again, it comes back to profits.

Unanticipated reaction
I had more people follow me during tonight’s chat than any other chat before. I know, quality over quantity. That’s bullshit. I bet Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and anyone else with a +1 million following aren’t saying that. In the end, it’s an audience; one that needs to be respected and nurtured. BUT, more followers, means more chances your thoughts are shared, means more conversation, means greater influence, leading to more relationships.

My suggestion?
Speak honestly and let the community respond. Don’t let your virtual ego be shy. What’s the worst that will happen? Someone’s going to say, “I disagree and here’s why.” That’s a perfect response, now we’re going somewhere.

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4 responses to “Stop being so damn agreeable.

  1. I completely agree. Shit….well, I have to agree this time. I grow weary of the lack of healthy disagreement that happens online, especially Twitter. We’re all so eager to see a few new followers that we forget that people like to follow leaders. Leaders have their own opinions and aren’t scared to share them. If we spend all day RT Mashable, we become unnecessary. Here’s a toast to the thought leaders!

  2. As PT Barnum said, “If you want to draw a crowd, start a fight.” If you want to see a blogger who apparently knows how to generate conflicting points of view, take a look at SpinSucks…she successfully got people to disagree with her by criticizing another very popular blogger in the niche.

    • Thanks for your comment:

      Oh, yes, I’ve commented on both sides. The interesting thing is that no one has the balls to say the other’s name. hehe… Here’s the issue. People keep talking about yes I agree and here’s why, or no I disagree and here’s why.

      What they should be talking about is…

      Yes, I agree and here are ways that we can stop people from doing it in the future. If the internet is supposed to be free, let’s make a wiki, or a video collection, or SOMETHING that people know they can go to for G+ and learn from.

      OR

      Yes, I agree and let’s make standards on what people should be learning when they pay for something like this. This way in the future, new people will know what’s good and what is a scam. Hey, Chris did a pretty good job, let’s use his webinar as a starting point to set a standard WE ALL WILL FOLLOW when we do these things, BECAUSE, in the end, we all wouldn’t mind some extra cash, even the haters.

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