By: Dean R. Delisle
From birth, as humans, we are wired for community. As I was sitting in church listening to this exact topic I was truly connected to the work I had been doing my whole life, connecting myself to people. I have always been a great connector, networker and just thought that primarily it was driven by my upbringing on the streets, needing things and being resourceful. Or growing up in a very business and politically connected restaurant where I observed from an early age, businessmen and politicians networking to get what they needed. In fact, I have an early recollection of needing a car, I networked with some of the patrons to get an amazing deal on a new car. I also remember needing concert tickets and followed the same in using my “social network” to get what I want or needed. It became fun, like a game to me, and yet there was always a deeper connection.
Even though I heard this message in church, it drove me to dig deeper in my recent studies of neuroscience, social and emotional intelligence and network science. These are many of the components in our current work. No matter what religious belief you have, neuroscience has proven that we are wired, programmed with core human needs, so deep that they actually trigger our emotions. The need to “be seen”, “be heard”, “be connected”, “be significant”– translating to emotions or to feel connected are core human needs. We hunger or yearn for these feelings.
So if you step back and see the effect of Social Networks in the recent years, it’s no wonder they have exploded. People have a core human need to connect to others, whether they know them or not. It generates significance when someone “likes”, “comments”, or “shares” a post from you, and it also hurts when no one responds. This is why we focus so much on engagement and have found that the most productive professionals and companies are “engaged”, they get it, they plug into the wiring. Then when you blend intention with the science of “network science” and the effective communication skills of “social and emotional intelligence” then BAM! you have that secret sauce. Because the communication skills of social and emotional intelligence clearly guides you to take in the emotions in the person you are communicating with and check in with your own to create a real presence – being present with the person at that moment. Not wander while talking or clicking just to feel good, but really connecting to what that person is saying or writing, in that moment. Social Networks online have expanded the ability to be present with someone without being present, you can be in the moment with that person at 10pm in the evening, when that person posted earlier in the day at 6am, or whatever the time span. And they feel it!
So slow down! Stop aimlessly clicking on things and see the person on the others side. Feel the person, the post, or conversation. If you like it, “like” it. And if you get it and want to be with that person, comment. This is the skill, art, and core human need of connection. Once you get it, you will get it all.
See you Online- Dean