Do you say ‘Yes’ when you should say ‘No’… We all do it, but why? Read Greg McKeown’s article:
Here’s something from Entrepreneur magazine. Click on the How to Enter a Room video option, view and enjoy.
PS: It has its funny moments!
PPS: It also includes useful advice on how to dress like an entrepreneur…
Do one thing at a time (well!) or multi-task, that’s the question. Watch this interesting CNBC video clip in which Tony Swartz talks about how to get stuff done whilst balancing your energy needs.
As I try to manage a four-way video-conference on my Dongleberry I suddenly realise how much technology is getting in the way of genuine human interaction. So let’s just think about what can happen in a traditional face-to-face meeting that cannot occur if we all choose to sit in different rooms gazing at little cameras. Here’s a short list:
- Authentic human contact. Whichever way you cut it, the only way to really connect with another person is when you meet them in the flesh.
- Informal promises. This is the stuff that happens on the side, in the form of favours, promises and bits of negotiation. It’s all part of developing a relationship that’s both personal and informal, and best done when you are with another person.
- Non-verbal understanding. Most technology is not up to the job of capturing all the subtleties of gestures, voice, facial expression and so on; let alone giving you the opportunity to study the expressions of all the other people present at a virtual meeting!
- Real-time information. Don’t you just love it when it all freezes up, or is just a little bit out of synch…
- Social identity. It’s much easier to know where you stand in a group (or an organisation) when you can interact properly with other people. Status is harder to understand if you try to construct it from the fragments of a cyber conversation.
- Discovering norms. No virtual conversation is ever going to help you appreciate the unwritten rules and norms that drive an organisation; or for that matter any strange or idiosyncratic aspects of its culture.
- Bonding & commitment. You need to share something meaningful to bond – it really is all about being there in person.
- Emotional support. The virtual world might be fine for transmitting information, but it’s not a good place for providing meaningful emotional support – and you might well need this from your colleagues if the going gets tough.
- Honesty & trust. It’s very difficult to know if someone is being honest, or to trust them, without experiencing the full weight of their communication and interpersonal skills.
- Tapping into the lighter side. Come on, it can all be a bit stiff and formal. In ‘real life’ humour is frequently needed to get things going, and this can be harder to use when you can’t easily check the reactions of others; and of course the very act of organising something like a tele or video-conference tends to give the proceedings a gravitas that’s not necessarily helpful.
None of this should be any surprise. Humans are social animals and we need to get information through all our senses in order to make proper sense of the world, even the digital world.
Photo credit: Daniel St Pierre/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
There’s a new political movement in Switzerland that has a single aim: the outlawing of PowerPoint! Curious really, but perhaps the Swiss think that PowerPoint gets in the way of getting stuff done, and just clogs up the neural arteries with mind numbing charts, graphs and diagrams, and those slides packed with very small text. Nothing is of course further from the truth.
PowerPoint is a fine business tool that can transform any audio-visual presentation in to a thing of pure beauty. And what would people do if they didn’t have to spend endless hours looking for suitable images, getting the animations to work in the right sequence, and cutting the whole thing down to a mere 60 slides (for a 10 minute talk). No, I think our Swiss friends are barking up the wrong tree this time.
Think you know about PowerPoint, take the BBC quiz: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-14125596