I often discuss that while all brands do many things, they can only be one thing. The same is true when it comes to your human brand. You only get to be one thing. So when I mention the name Albert Einstein, I think most, if not all, agree the one word he gets to be is genius. He certainly earned it.
I host a workshop titled “Your Human Brand” and after the last one, an attendee sent me this Einstein quote:
”I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” – Albert Einstein
I remembered seeing that quote a long time ago and dismissing it as something I wouldn’t have to worry about because . . . it was in the future.
The reason I was sent that quote is because I’m struggling with the lack of emotion, passion and human interaction that today’s modes of communication present. I touched on it in my most recent workshop and apparently it resonated with several people.The Einstein quote has incredible insight, but it’s a little harsh. I’m certainly not going to condone calling anyone an idiot, especially a generation that is technologically brilliant and savvy. But what I will tell you is that it is very apparent this generation struggles with human interaction, the art of conversation and engagement.
Here’s a real life example of that point. You need to have a discussion with a young person. It could be for any reason – you’re complimenting them on a job well done, you want to help them understand an area they can improve in, there’s an office conflict they’re involved in . . . anything along those lines. You sit with them and it’s almost like they’re not present. They appear to be listening, they nod. They speak in very short fragmented sentences and their emotional reaction to the topic is always non-existent. You think your talk had little or no effect. Until five minutes after the meeting, you receive a three-page email full of comments, reactions, suggestions, ideas and yes, emotion. They couldn’t verbalize it; they could only text or email it.
I make a point of trying to engage younger people in emotional conversation. I believe once they experience it, they fall in love with the human interaction and engagement. It’s not easy, but very rewarding when you finally break through and their professional skills improve immensely.
Another great example of this was when we at InnoVision were recently asked to do a presentation with “old school” presentation boards and not present on a screen, but rather in paper form. It was really amazing to watch young art directors marvel at presentation boards that were real. The experience was ground-breaking and after it was prepared, they all suggested we do more presentations in that style. Why? Because they could touch their work, experience it, engage with it and they loved it.
A final example of this, and there are many, is the photograph. If you really want to see someone smile when you give them a gift, give them a real photograph, in a frame. Their reaction is priceless and so is the photograph.
One of my favorite adages a mentor of mine always says is “For every good there is an evil and for every evil there is a good.” That adage certainly applies to technology. It’s an amazing and welcomed part of our new lives. It has made our world better in so many ways from medical advancements, to greater education, to global communication and so much more. But technology has also affected and reduced many great human interactions and experiences. I see how Einstein’s prediction may very well happen. But I think we can prevent or at least minimize it. How? By making old school your new school.
Here are just a few ways you can be more old school:
1) Reduce your emailing and texting and call people. Let them hear you laugh instead of texting them an “LOL”.
2) Set up and have some “just touching base” meetings with your peers, clients and team members.
3) Get tactile. Print a photograph. Write someone a thank you card and mail it. Read a real newspaper or magazine.
4) Host or go to a mixer. They’re fun and a great way to engage. We have one at InnoVision every four to six weeks and you’re invited!
By incorporating some old school in your life, you’ll not only help prevent or at least slow down Einstein’s very disturbing prediction; you’ll improve your human brand by differentiating yourself from other human brands by engaging and communicating more effectively.
I hereby declare old school cool and hope you join me in my crusade by joining us at one of our InnoVision mixers. If you’d like to be on our invitation list, send us at email at [email protected] or even better . . . call me.
P.S. Be sure to explore the rest of our new and improved website – you already know where to find it.
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