|My old muse R2D2 ...|
Hopefully we aren't too far off the day where tablet PCs will seem passe and we will all have droid doppelgangers doing the hard work of communicating for us. As humans we seem to all fail miserably at perfecting our communication performance so isn't this a prime space for a robot to enter and help us with our lives?
If R2D2 could help Princess Leia in her time of need ... why not send R2D2 to do my bidding with humans for me? Save me the angst of misunderstandings and putting my foot in my mouth please ... Such a droid would be the best friend of every introvert on the planet!
Until R2D2 and his buddies are ready to be the heroes of the world's introverts, here are five lessons we can learn from R2D2. Lessons for the quagmire that is the digital communications landscape, where taking offense is a sport and being misunderstood is a daily occurrence.
The traits of R2D2 give us a platform for building our social media merely by looking at how he navigated his way into our hearts (and every Star Wars series movie), and then went on to save the Star Wars Universe.
- Own your name (or a pseudonym if appropriate for your branding). No matter how difficult you think it might be for people to remember . Your name is, or will soon be your brand. When you hear "R2D2" you don't think of any other droid you have seen in a Star Wars movie - you think of the one trusted by Princess Leia. Your name is your brand. Use it consistently across all social media - not unlike R2D2 who is seen in the entire Star Wars series along with other robots, but you always recognise him as the 'original'. Don't worry if you think your name isn't memorable - you never hear R2 complaining that George Lucas named him after Reel and Dialogue Track coordinates now do you? Protect the integrity of your name - and consequently your brand.
- You need a look. Initially R2D2 simply existed in George Lucas's imagination, and then R2D2's artwork was created by Ralph McQuarie. Despite not having humanoid features such as a face and arms, R2D2 was immediately likable. It's a little easier for us as humans, already being born and all, now all you need to do is have a great profile picture taken - or get an artist to create an avatar. Along with your name, your face (or image) are the next most significant part of your brand. A bright orange and purple R2D2 wouldn't be the same as our silver, white and blue friend. We connect with what we see, and as humans communicating via computers, an image becomes vitally important. To be fair, while R2D2 has a trusted 'face', he used holographic technology to help humans get their message across. The importance of a face in human communication is well understood by this clever droid.
- You need to exist in the digital world. George created R2D2 into imaginations, Ralph McQuarie interpreted George's imagination on to paper ... but let's be fair here ... R2D2 only became real, when he was built by Tony Dyson. R2's whirring bits and characteristic droid swagger are what we initially fell in love with. The lesson here? Stop thinking about your social media platforms and profiles, and build yourself into digital existence. If like R2D2 you need the assistance of an expert to become 'real', then ask for help. Unfortunately we don't all have the creative genius of Tony Dyson to 'make us real', but you can easily do the research and join the appropriate platform for your social presence in the
Star Warsdigital universe.
- Communicate clearly. Keep your language clear and concise. R2D2 spoke droid, but we understood his meaning at every turn - and could even interpret his mood by his actions. When in doubt about humans understanding him, R2D2 used holographic technology to show us what he meant - so don't underestimate the value of pictures and images to get your point across as well.
- Play nicely. Let's face it - R2D2 took his task seriously when he carried Princess Leia's message. He was on a mission to save the Star Wars universe. He was assertive but not rude, took confidentiality seriously, and ensured his message got into the right hands, and was well understood. The lesson here is to communicate in a way that makes the world a better place. No one wants the reputation of office cyber bully while what is critical to your success is building effective relationships around you. Keep your bad news to yourself, deal with feedback face-on, and play nicely while you do good. You would rather be likened to R2 than grumpy complaining C3P0 now wouldn't you?