What do twitter and the Serengeti have in common? Just ask the elephants!

I’ve always dreamed of going on safari in Kenya. What about you? If you are like me, and your constraints keep you from jumping on the next plane to Africa, may I recommend the next best thing?

A dear friend and client recently gave me a copy of Surviving Your Serengeti: 7 Skills to Master Business and Life. Stefan Swanepoel’s book is labeled as a fable of self -discovery. Reading this book and learning about the skill sets of seven wild animals was the next best thing to being there. I recommend it to any business person interested in learning more about their business survival skills and those used by the people around them. As you move quickly through this easy read you will want to know what wild animal you are most like (see link below.)

According to  Swanepoel I am a communicating elephant. The largest mammals can “receive and interpret some 70 different sounds from each other and their environment. Their communications skills even include humor, mourning, and an ability to lead others.” According to the book, “effective communications is the art of successfully delivering your message.”

Here are seven tips of the great communicators (the elephants) along with a few social networking twists from MarketingMel!

  1. Be sure you hear what another person is trying to say.
  2. Listen and respond to their message. (On twitter when people @ message you or RT you be sure to thank them.)
  3. Advance the discussion from monologue to a true dialogue. (Perhaps this is why I enjoy social networking so much. It’s an opportunity to truly share in a dialogue with a variety of interesting people, and, in the case of twitter, people I would never otherwise have occasion to meet.)
  4. Accept constructive feedback (Reading evaluations after my business presentations helps me to make the next one even better!)
  5. Be sure your verbal and non verbal communication match your verbal message (Elephants are masters at intuition.)
  6. When writing, be precise. “Less is best.” (Twitter’s 140 characters are often just right!)
  7. Use visuals that back up your verbal and written messages. (Hope you enjoyed the video.)

There are six other animals to study in your journey through the Serengeti and life. Take the quiz to find out what animal you are and when you’re through be sure to read the book.  You will learn more about yourself. Drop me a line in the comment box below. I would enjoy hearing about your  journey on safari.


  • Jeff Brunson says:

    Elephant! Me too. In the descriptive, I really liked the phrase, “They realize that taking a positive approach can make others feel more confident …” As you might imagine, I liked this due to the alignment with my Brand.

    • maryellen says:

      Thanks Jeff. You and I are definitely elephants. Communications is how we make our living. The book stresses however that not everyone has the elephant’s keen skill set despite the fact that we spend most of our days trying to get our message across to others!

  • Linda Pucci says:

    Sounds like an interesting book that I definitely want to check out! Thanks for sharing your elephant tips too, Mary Ellen!

  • This book is right up my alley. I can’t wait to check it out. Thanks for sharing those great tips.

  • This book sounds like a fun and informative read–thanks for sharing. By the way, I love the way you weave your creativity in with your great tips.

    • maryellen says:

      Thank you for your very kind comments about my creativity Tiffany. It’s an easy read and you will enjoy it.

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