Connecting In Person Still Critical In The Digital Age
Lance Haun | Rehaul.com
January 28, 2010
Yesterday, I attended #connectHR and it was, by all measures, a smashing success. Even for a guy who has pretty great luck working a room and talking to new people, I don’t think I got through the entire guest list of over 100 people in a little over two hours. What I continue to find is that as my digital network expands, getting to know people in a face to face environment becomes even more critical to connecting with a person rather than a user name or an avatar or a profile.
I’ve always considered social networking a shortcut to get past the first few steps of networking. You can get to know many people in a shorter period of time without the physical boundaries that networking with people across the country typically would involve. Social networking allows you to figure out interests and connect.
But there is a ceiling on that relationship. On Twitter, it is interactive but short. On blogs, it is long form but not very interactive. E-mail is long form and interactive but very flat. At some point and at some place, you are going to have to take it offline. I am not the only one who says this either. But nearly every success I’ve had in social media has come from connecting to people outside the realm of social media.
It makes sense too. We get so much information from non-verbal cues (body language) and from voice inflection when we speak to one another that it is difficult not to connect when you’re face to face with someone else. And when the norm in the talent industry is to have many hundreds and thousands of contacts, the people I call first when I’ve got opportunities or questions are the people I’ve spoken to and know the best. That means I’ve taken it beyond.
If we haven’t connected yet, let’s make 2010 the year. Seriously. And if you have digital relationships that are begging to be taken to the next level, take this opportunity to follow through. Get on the phone. Make it happen.