Here’s the third tip in our series on How to Bring Your Superpowers to Work.
Tip #3: Click Less to Connect More
What did we do before our phones?” a colleague asked once walking into a meeting.
“Uh. . . we talked,” responded another, pausing for a moment to make eye contact–and then heading nose-down again into the tiny keyboard.
How many times have you walked into a meeting and noticed everyone heads down and fingers flying? This scenario is all-too-familiar in our workplaces, not to mention our homes.
And we’ve accepted it as normal.
In fact, I’ve heard arguments that our head-bowed, thumb-dancing behavior is the natural extension of our advanced society . . . that we have to grow up and adapt . . . and that asking for different behavior is a step backwards at best.
To that, I politely say, “Bull.”
Yes – our iPhones, and other technology tools have changed our lives for the better, arming us with more flexibility, information, and power than ever before.
And – with great power comes great responsibility, as Spiderman says. Even though our use of these tools has exploded with unprecedented speed, no one has stopped to teach us how to integrate them into the work and life we want to have. When there are no rules, the technology rules us.
Letting technology rule might be fine – if everything else was working well. But it isn’t. And we’re missing something important in our professional and personal lives.
We’re missing connection.
“Connection?” you laugh at me, amazed. “Why, right now I’m connected to my 400 Twitter followers, 875 Facebook friends, and my email contact list in the thousands! I’m more connected than ever before!”
All true. You are connected. But are you connect-ing? My clients, friends, and people in my speaking audiences tell me they’re not. In fact, they’re feeling:
- Less connected to their colleagues, even those just a floor away,
- More distant from their friends and family, and
- Even farther away from their own thoughts and voices because they’re constantly responding to the adrenaline buzz of their device(s).
Connection is a basic human need– a longing, even. We want to connect. We know that workplaces where people connect work better, too. So you’d think we’d do whatever it takes to connect, right? But we’re not doing it. In fact, we’re unintentionally replacing connecting with clicking.
And it’s not working.
The sad part is that I hear people say “that’s the way it has to be” to be successful in a wired world. Again, I challenge, bull.
It’s time to make new rules.
Our wonderful technology tools tumbled into our lives with great speed. When we quickly adjusted to integrate their possibilities, we unintentionally created informal, habit-based rules that we never thought through, challenged or rejected. Until now.
Now, we have the opportunity to design new rules and techniques that work to support our success instead of drain it. With new rules, we can take control of these amazing, empowering tools, take control of our worklives again and be free to bring our superpowers to work.
Finally, remember that the rules you create are yours and yours alone. They won’t work for everyone in the same way you’ll make them work for you. You get to give yourself a gift her—to create your rules exclusively for the way you want to work, live, and connect.