Connecting through Work

I was reading the Wired article about TED# and how over the years the talks have become more anxiety-inducing. It's sad that we would have a company set up booths around the country to help us have honest conversations.

With all the talk about transparency and being real, is the gap between what we say and what we do widening? Do we need permission and a special stage for something as human as communicating and connecting?

Attend any conference in North America and you are exposed to the spectrum — from the top things you are doing wrong to the formula you can use for instant success. The richer conversations happen in the hallways, while getting to the various sessions, when we are possibly late or lost. When we are being the very things we are there in the hope of correcting — imprecise, uncertain, and likely unguarded, in the moment.

The very tools we have at our disposal to build connections have become the shields we use to hide behind. Seven years ago we were talking about how social media is the modern version of the telephone:

What social media does is simply allow you to do one thing: communicate. That's it. Social media is not the conversation. It's the room in which you hold the conversation. It still comes down to saying, doing, or producing something valuable for your customer.

[…] Fundamentally, business is still all about people, products and services.

Brands are still about relationships and the telephone is still one of the best tools to connect with someone when you want clarity and speed of understanding and cannot be in the same room.

Skype video calls are better than direct tweets. Behind-the-firewall tools to work with your team like Slack deliver greater productivity. When technology fades into the background in service of the thing you are getting done, you can relax and go about working through the issues. No special permission or seven-step program to become human needed.

Work is the best pathway to getting to know people. We grow through the things we make.


[image via]