A friend said to me today “thanks for our coffee time yesterday…so rare to have a ‘real’ conversation these days.” It’s so true. We communicate more information more often and using more channels than at any other time in our history, and yet we lack what’s most important – real conversations and real connection.
We are so busy collecting ‘connections’ and communicating to our ‘connections’ that we seem to have lost the art of connecting. The fabulous Brené Brown puts it beautifully: “Connection is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.” Most savvy business people get that good business is all about the people.
It’s all about having real connection with clients, employees, even suppliers. What’s really fascinating is how few actually know how to ‘do’ the people stuff.
Where we’re getting it wrong is that we’re falling back on a process to deliver the result we’re looking for. We assume that communication is the key to relationships (and in part it is), and that communicating to as many people as possible using all the available channels maximises efficiency (which it does).
What is missing though is the opportunity for a real connection.
Making a moment for a meaningful connection with an employee, a client, a colleague doesn’t have the efficiency of a ‘post’ on LinkedIn or facebook or an email to all staff or clients, but in terms of creating the ‘glue’ of relationships, there’s nothing nearly as effective.
And glue, after all, is what creates loyalty and resilience. Paraphrasing Jim Collins, the genius is in the ‘AND’. Yes, you have to be efficient in communicating ideas and information AND you have to make the time and take the opportunity to truly connect. To get personal, to make it real.