Monday afternoon, during an interview with students from the School of Visual Arts, I was asked what developments in technology or innovation generally excites me. What immediately popped into my mind wasn’t the latest subscription service or productivity app or (supposed) Facebook killing social network, it’s the fact we’re taking a harder look at innovation (what it means, where it is headed, at what cost to us) — and vocalizing our angst and concerns.
Perhaps I’m being hopeful but I wonder if this may actually be something that finally unites us (not simply as “users” but as real human beings). At the very least this may get us talking with — not just at — each other.
Time (and yet another data breach) will tell.
Innovation is what we obsessively focus our attention on — from devices to configurations to processes — and yet, what I feel we all should be absolutely manically fixated on in everything we do are our relationships (and yes, every blog, swipe, text, tap, send, post and tweet are part of everything). I don’t know about you, but I’d like to see far more attention paid to how we’re communicating with each other and less on device-to-device communication (whether Alexa gets along with my refrigerator or thermostat is of no concern to me) or worse yet, how to increase “followers”.
Relationships matter. Human skills still really f#@%^&g matter. For me, technology has both enhanced as well as dramatically diminished how we interact with each other BUT in no way has it disrupted the importance and value of true connections.
So whether your face is constantly buried in a screen or not, always put your relationships first. Always. Always. Always.
And as I share in Chapter 4 of Build Your Dream Network:
- If you’re actively searching for a job, then you should be focusing on your social skills and your ability to work with others! Nearly all job growth since 1980 has been in social- skill-intensive occupations.
- According to Gallup, having close friends and positive interactions at work significantly increases engagement with the organization (and more engagement, typically means better bottomline results for the organization).
-- J. Kelly Hoey