What Happens When We Take Connections Off-Line In a Hybrid World

I walked past her, having dodged the yellow and green tee shirts, the Akubra hats and the boomerang tattoo-ed faces of the kids.

Straining over the very loud rendition of Crowded House’sΒ ‘When You Come’, I asked,

Bernadette McClelland - Australia Day

‘How is your meat pie?’

The look on her face told the story!

Because nothing beats an Aussie meat pie with sauce on a Saturday afternoon at an Irish pub anywhere in the world, especially Australia Day celebrations in Colorado.

In the matter of a few hours, Tim and I had not only had an amazing time by choosing to leave the confines of our apartment and heading out in the snow to a pub on the other side of town, but we had also made new friends, with both of us having so much in common and the promise of a leg ‘o lamb roast dinner on the calendar at Chez T&B’s soon.

There are a few reasons I shared this story:

🦘 After having come off the back of an isolating two years where the business platform has shifted to ‘hybrid’ – online connection through Zoom, Slack and other keyboard and screen based mediums, we have all experienced the convenience and productivity they provide which we will continue to leverage. But, howΒ ‘easy’Β has it become to reach out, respond or request things without truly reaching out and ‘connecting’ with those people.

🦘Many have condemned the antics of ‘keyboard warriors’ – those who hide their identity and bullying behaviour behind a keyboard, but I’m wondering how many ‘keyboard warriors’ thereΒ reallyΒ are. Whilst they may not bully others, they feel awkward reaching out to people, wondering what to say and not wanting to bring all of themselves to the relationship, so they, too, hide behind their screens and keyboards. Then again, I may be wrong – some may be just plain lazy!

QUESTION: Who can you connect with personally this week in-person or by picking up the phone? A new prospect? A forgotten client? A new connection?

🐨 My second pointΒ is that truly connecting in a face to face setting is an antidote to depression and addictive behaviours. Johan Hari presented his idea at TEDGlobal in London by saying β€œthe opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.”

🐨 His research over three years showed that behind any addiction is a feeling of isolation and inability to connect in a meaningful way with others. And that starts with a community.

🐨 And when we are in a community of like-minded souls, our body reacts. Our cortisol (stress) levels reduce, our blood pressure reduces and our oxytocin (bonding) levels increase.

🐨 So, hanging out with a group of Aussies who understand the nuances of inappropriately yelling ‘C’mon the Maggies’, having Vegemite eating competitions, Peter Garrett dancing or reverently bowing to the humble meat pie, sausage roll and dead horse (sauce) lifts the spirit and truly enables connection.

🐨 I reflect on why my life is so full and it is because of people – some who are individuals on the fringes and others in communities – and when I couple my desire to connect with those people and we make our relationship a two-way street, it fuels my happiness levels.

Sausage Roll

QUESTION: Who has reached out to you and might continue to reach out, yet you are not reciprocating or stoking that fire in return? Connection is a two-way street! Make your move!

Australia Day 2023

🌏 Coming back to our new friends, Sally and Grant… they were just as happy to have met us, as we them, as our hugs when we said goodbye, showed. The level of connection when we meet someone face to face is heightened when you can look into someone’s eyes, tell stories, read body language and get a feel for who they are as people, and it is a huge differentiator.

🌏 According to research undertaken by MIT Human Dynamics Lab, the most valuable type of communication is done face to face with a physical handshake influencing better negotiations and typically 35% of the variation of a sales teams performance based on the number of times the team members speak face-to-face.

🌏 In thnking of the ways some of the recent layoffs have occurred where loyal employees have found out on-line or via email with zero personal and face to face interaction is devastating and only exacerbates feelings of isolation, disconnection and potential depression. Leaders you can do better than this!

This fact has only strengthened my resolve to contribute to more face-to-face sales leadership themed breakfasts here in my new home town of Denver, Colorado in 2023 to enable me to do what I love and am good at doing.

QUESTION: Where in your business world or personal life can you arrange a coffee meeting, a dinner, a Showroom Day, a VIP Day, a client breakfast or a face to face review so that you can shake hands, look into someone’s eyes and make the meeting more meaningful?

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Thank you for being a ‘connection’ of mine and I appreciate your supporting my ideas and writings. For those that want to have a conversation with me for any one of the three reasons above, I’m always up for it!

Be Bold, Brave and Brilliant,

Bernadette McClelland

PicΒ – My camera, Darcy’s Pub, Denver for Australia Day Celebrations

P.S.Β This is 100%Β BM ContentΒ with no AI.

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