At the last FPDA Industry Summit, attendees heard Tim David speak about human connections, something that is increasingly overlooked in today’s technology and social media-soaked world. He explained how research has shown that the more real, physical, in-person connections you have in your life, the better. And that means not just at home, but at work, with family, with friends, and in your community.
Here are some of his top takeaways, which will hopefully inspire you to put down that mobile device and go speak with someone as soon as you finish reading this!
- About 85% of your financial success is due to your personality, your ability to communicate, negotiate and lead. In other words, people skills, sometimes referred to as soft skills. You won’t get that from electronic devices, you’ll only develop it over time through person-to-person interactions. Surprisingly, a mere 15% is due to technical knowledge.
- People are increasingly becoming addicted to their smartphones. David highlighted a survey which showed when people are willing to take out their phone and be interrupted by technology. When are they willing to take themselves away from an in-the-moment interaction, and look at a screen? 49% percent said during a meal, which probably wouldn’t surprise most people. But 24% said while in the bathroom. If you’re in a meeting, 22% are willing to do so. And an amazing 11% of people are willing to be interrupted by their cell phone during sex. Even during these intimate moments of connection, people are willing to let technology take over.
- What you don’t focus on gradually disappears over time. This includes human empathy — the ability to know what other people are thinking and feeling — and to care about that. Ask yourself what that means for business? To provide any semblance of customer service, you need empathy … just as you do for sales and marketing. Plus, leadership is something that is improved with empathy. Studies have shown this, experience has shown this: life is improved with empathy.
- Remember to use people’s names, early and often. Coke has recently used this magic word in their marketing, with people’s names on their cans. People are driven to make decisions by the sound of their own name. As Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” When you’re writing, start every email with their name. When you’re addressing them face to face, to have the impact, use people’s names.
- Be grateful — and show your gratitude by saying thanks. The number one reason why people quit is because their boss did not make them feel appreciated. There is no single magic word that is more powerful than “thanks.” And David said that people who say thanks, have all kinds of health benefits; people who are grateful human beings live an average of seven years longer than people who are … well, ingrates.
- Ask for help at work. Even at regular meetings, David said to ask whether anyone needs help, because people are afraid to ask for it out of the blue. “Just say hey, we’re all here, anybody need help with anything? Now is the time to ask,” he said. “Does anybody need help with anything? We’re going to take 10 minutes here on this. I don’t even care if you are moving on Saturday, and you need help getting a truck. I don’t care if it’s work related or not, we are a group of people that help one another. And this is a space to ask for it in a safe way.” This type of interaction builds community and trust among your team.