Are you more successful by surfing the tsunami of today’s state-of-the-art technology?
I would argue that we’ve become more efficient, but not always more effective.
State-of-the-art technology is of little value unless it is in service of state-of-the-heart technology – your ability to emotionally connect to your listener. State-of-the-art technology makes contact, but it doesn’t make connection. Unless you are emotionally connecting to your listeners, you will have an uphill battle trying to persuade them to buy or become viral evangelists for your offering.
You might think a champion of online blogging would disagree. So I asked Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post when I invited her to one of my UCLA masters courses, for her take on state-of-the-heartversus state-of-the-art technology.
Her prediction? In business, she said, we’ll come to rely more, rather than less, on direct human interaction — especially when it comes to gauging a prospective partner, client, or customer’s character. This doesn’t mean we must be face-to-face to make all our decisions, but if there’s something incredibly important on which everything depends, you always want to be in the room, face-to-face, breathing the same air.
I believe the secret sauce in any new technology medium is the power to tell purposeful stories that move your listeners and energize them to respond passionately to your call to action – even at 140 characters.
This is not some idiosyncratic idea. Chris Kemp, Chief Information Officer at NASAAmesResearchCenter and chairman of NASA’s Web Council, shared with me that with someone face-to-face, you initially react in your gut – your enteric nervous system gives you a visceral read on the other person. It’s in our DNA from our primitive ancestors who had to size up a stranger instantly to determine whether to trust him, fight him, or flee for their lives. This genetic trait was part of our survival and success mechanism as a species. You don’t get this response with technology because your body knows you’re talking to a screen. And, current technology is not there yet to pick up the micro-expressions – the pauses, eye contact, body language and gestures – that we subtly experience only when we interact with people.
Let me be clear. I believe the secret sauce in any new technology medium is the power to tell purposeful stories that move your listeners and energize them to respond passionately to your call to action – even at 140 characters. Success and failure are remarkably close together. In this highly competitive world, you must seize every advantage to swing the pendulum in your favor. So when the chips are down, and everything depends upon that interaction, get your face in their face!