Are you missing the hugs and the handshakes?
Are you missing face to face connection and interaction? I know I am. Perhaps you would normally attend a January conference or training event where you can socialise with colleagues catch up and network. This year it’s all virtual, which is amazing but let’s face it, there is nothing that can replace the hugs and handshakes of real connection. In the future, I am sure we will need human connection more than ever. If we are to be successful in the future, we need to strive for deeper relationships and not just a surface recognition. We need to bring enthusiasm, energy, and excitement into developing our working relationships. This means we will STAND OUT from the crowd and have a powerful impact on everyone around us. So, here’s a little reminder of why human connections are so powerful and why - post COVID-19 - we need to continue (do more, even) to bridge the gap between technology and human touch through meetings and events.
1. Communication is more effective face-to-face because you can read body language, tone, feelings, and reactions more accurately. Things can easily be misinterpreted or missed through digital interactions. That means that if you’re not communicating in person you may miss out on some crucial signals.
2. Researchers have found that people try to multitask more during virtual events. That often means reaching for phones to catch up on other tasks, or making notes on other work, although this can also happen face to face, we tend to do it less, providing a better opportunity for real and valuable engagement, without the distractions that communicating remotely can bring.
3. Social interactions can enhance good health through a positive influence on people’s living habits. The emotional support provided by social connections helps to reduce the damaging effects of stress and can foster “a sense of meaning and purpose in life”. We all know how it feels to be really close to our team members its often when we do our best work.
4. As humans we experience reward during mutual social interactions and feel sensations similar to physical pain when we are socially rejected or disapproved. Psychologists write that direct person-to-person contact triggers parts of our nervous system that release a “cocktail” of neurotransmitters tasked with regulating our response to and making us better equipped to change. Building positive relationships with people can make a difference in how resilient we are.
5. Connecting with as many people as we can who have a positive outlook and can make you laugh and help you have been proven to be extremely beneficial. The more positive your relationships are, the better you will be able to face life's challenges.
6. Cooperation has also enabled us to rise to the top of the food chain. Though weaker than many predatory species, a group of humans working together can take on threats and win.
So really, we have no choice but to be social creatures. We can’t help it - it's the way we’re made. You can of course tick a lot of these boxes by having meaningful and positive connections on Zoom and Teams and thank goodness otherwise I would be out of business, but I can’t help it I miss the hugs and the handshakes!
Look out for my new book, STAND OUT (Five skills to advance your career), and learn more about making lasting and meaningful relationships at work. Coming in the Spring!