Losing touch with reality has been happening for centuries now. Literally. Every day we create a new process and/or device that removes us from people more and more. How do we find the balance?
Does Touch Ground Us In Reality?
When I became a new Dad, everything changed when I held those children in my arms and reality set in. A child touches your heart like nothing else can. Your heart just melts and there isn’t anything you wouldn’t do for them. Physcal touch makes everything more real.
I was listening to CBC Radio the other day and they were talking about vinyl records and how they connect us to the music we play. The physical act of picking the record from it’s sleeve, setting it on the turntable and gently setting the needle to the record has a way of making the music more real and then there is the argument of richer sounds. I have to say, the sound from my Grandfather’s old Grundig blows away the sound of today’s data driven sounds. Did you know they remove data from the music in MP3’s to make the file smaller? The sound just isn’t the same.
Think about Bell Canada’s “Reach Out and Touch Someone” commercials years ago. You would see people literally touching each other to emphasize the physical need to connect. I know when I’m feeling sad or glad, there is nothing like a hug or even just a caring hand on the shoulder from someone who really cares. It grounds us and lets us know what is happening is very real.
Is “Hands Off” Really A Good Policy?
In so many places these days, there are policies against touching. I understand unwanted touching but there was a time a number of years ago when my daughter was told she couldn’t hug her friends. Teenage girls do that!!! Some even hold hands. Just because.
My wife used to care for children in our home. We warned parents that if their child is hurt and needs a kiss and a hug, that’s what will happen. If they were uncomfortable with that, they were welcome to go elsewhere. We had a waiting list!
I work with someone who is going through a very difficult time in her personal life. Having been through a similar experience, I understand her pain. Words can’t console someone losing a child. We have started with a morning hug recently and I can literally see the weight lift from her shoulders even if only for a few minutes.
Is hands off a good policy? No. This is yet one more place where we are losing touch.
Belly to Belly
In the network marketing (MLM or Direct Sales) world, we often talk about the need to meet “belly to belly”. I wouldn’t take it quite that literally but it is really important to be in a place where you can shake hands and make eye contact. By all means use webinars and email marketing to get them to a meeting but I need to shake your hand. No, I don’t do fist bumps and I don’t trust people who do. Shake my hand and look me in the eye.
(Did you know auto-responders, video email and a conference room are all included in the Pure Leverage suite of tools?)
Simon Sinek has a great video on Vimeo called “If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business. In that video he does a great job of explaining the importance of knowing and understanding people and the importance of face to face contact. I highly recommend Simon’s book “Start With Why” and look forward to reading “Leaders Eat Last”.
Simon Sinek: If You Don’t Understand People, You Don’t Understand Business from 99U on Vimeo.
“We’re not good at everything, we’re not good by ourselves,” says Simon Sinek at the 99% Conference. Our ability to build trust and relationships is the key to our survival as a race, and to thriving as ideamakers.
Find The Balance
I think we all recognize the need for technology and understand that used effectively, it can save a lot of time. Conversely, these tools can suck the life out of you. Use technology to get people to agree to a face to face meeting so you can decide if you even want to do business or work with them. For MLM, this may mean annual conferences but make a point of attending those.
Remember to shake hands with a firm grip and make eye contact. When appropriate, reach out and touch someone. I love Christmas for that. For some reason people are much more “huggy”.
When you are with someone, show respect and turn your smartphone off. Connect with them and be in the moment.
Stay in touch with reality.
Make it a great day,
P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for people with firm hand shakes. I’m thankful for people who respect my time. I’m thankful for my Pure Leverage Tools.
What are you thankful for today?