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  • Writer's pictureSylvie Barr

Let's re-Connect

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Photo credit: Omar Ram

This is it, school’s out for summer!

Time for a breather, time to recharge and have fun :)

What will this look like for you?

Last month, the members of my Facebook group wanted to explore the theme of human connection in our TrendingTuesdays.

The past 18 months have reminded us how much we humans, as social animals, need to connect, to relate, to be in touch with each other. Literally, we crave human contact to thrive. You only have to watch the beautiful bond between a newborn baby and her mum to remember this.

Indeed technology came to the rescue when we all found ourselves in lockdown or any other form of confinement. I haven’t been at my parents in a year now, so talking to them on Skype every week has been the next best thing.

Yet there’s so much lost in these virtual connections…

I was lucky enough to have a few face to face meetings with clients in the past few weeks, and it’s been amazing. You catch stuff that no Zoom, Teams, Skype or Google Meet will ever relay to you. The body language, the facial expressions, the glint in the eye, the slight change in the tone of voice, all this is erased in online meetings.

Everybody I talked to who got back to the office for a day or two, took part in face-to-face networking, or gave a talk in front of a real audience has the same feedback: there’s no comparison with the online experience.

Saying that, I am not dismissing the tech tools, as they offer opportunities that otherwise would not be within reach. As part of a current project, I have interviewed people from all around the world - in the USA, Canada, South Africa and Australia. Even if there had been no travel restrictions in place, I doubt my client would have had the budget to get me on a plane to all these destinations for a few interviews!

So I guess the lesson here for us all is to find a balance and use the right tool for any given interaction with clients or colleagues.

  • Sometimes picking up the phone/having a quick zoom will be far better to discuss a point than starting a game of email ping pong.

  • Arranging a face to face meeting to deliver an important presentation will yield far more feedback and engagement than presenting online.

  • Making sure that you personalise a letter will have more impact than sending a blanket piece of communications.

And when it comes to your connections on social media, well, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this ;)

Of all the new ‘friends’ and ‘connections’ you’ve made in the past year on platforms like Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, how many have you really engaged with?

How many times was a ‘friend’ request immediately followed by an invitation to join a group, a masterclass, etc?

How many groups do you belong to? How many notifications/emails to you receive each day? How many can you engage with meaningfully? How much of your time does this take you away from the important task at hand? How much will this particular connection help you with building your business?

Is this really a numbers’ game of spreading far and wide, or would you be better off focusing on just a few groups/connections on a couple of platforms to raise the profile of your brand/business?

OK we’ve all done it, that’s been the game lately.

Well, I need a break from it and the promise to myself is to:

  1. do a digital detox whilst I’m on holiday with my family

  2. Properly re-Connect with my self and my loved ones

  3. declutter the email inbox and unsubscribe where I have no need to receive

  4. leave Facebook groups where I can’t contribute in a meaningful way

  5. be mindful of the medium I choose for any given interaction when I’m back at work later this month

  6. organise face-to-face meetings when relevant - fancy meeting me for a cuppa when kids are back at school?

Over to you - what will you do to re-Connect this summer?

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