From communication to conversation to Roadshow: Where’s your head at?

I think one-on-one communication is best. A personal note or email, phone call or face-to-face conveys more meaning for its immediacy, relevance and directness than being copied or conferenced in ever could.

The medium is important too.  Reading leads us to hear the sender’s voice in ways that a telephone call makes impossible. The nuance of a word and the inflection of a voice cannot convey the same messages communicated by facial expressions and body language.   

I guess one-on-one communication is just more engaging, at least for those who opt-in to relationship building. Clearly, there are times when we choose to opt-out at which point one-on-one communication becomes strained and unproductive.

Just as the medium has pros and cons for our level of engagement, the setting affects the quality and value of our one-on-one communication too. Likewise, whispering sweet nothings into the ear of your lover assumes a level of intimacy and trust that might be the exception rather than the rule in business. But that shouldn’t stop us from wanting comparable levels of easiness and mutual gratification at work, at least I don’t think so.

Lubricating the mechanisms that make all this work is brain chemistry. After all, how we feel [read: how we react to brain chemistry] affects how we perceive what’s going on and how we’ll respond, engage or disengage.  If the relevance, directness, medium, opt-iningness, and the time and place affect the quality of our one-on-one communication, I think it’s fair to say brain chemistry is often overlooked as a driver of all that on many levels.

We could apply this notion to recruiting where the whole business of finding, attracting, hiring, developing and retaining talent which assumes good one-on-one communication, synthesized of course, as leading to the ultimate prize: engaged and  passionate users.”

For workforce planning, complimenting big picture demographics with psychographic data would give an employer a huge advantage, don’t you think?  Knowing where people are and how populations are distributed is only part of the equation. Learning why candidates and employees do the things they do is central to understanding how to manage that one-on-one tête-à-tête, predict their behaviors even.   Hey, we could even make it a 12-step program!

The conversations we have with our workforce would be improved if we could draw together these loose threads that often trip us up. Bringing together an understanding of who really makes up the desired audience, where they hang out and what they are feeling, thinking or are inclined toward with the relevance, directness, the best choice of media, easy opt-iningness, good timing an engaging “one-on-one communication,” well that couldn’t hurt, could it?

Ah, brain chemistry.

Unfortunately, many people in our industry cannot imagine how they could accomplish these types of thing — and more besides — without changing their brain chemistry first.  Doubt, fear, disintrested and other negative thoughts are as forceful in debilitating us personally as rising costs, dwindling budgets, “talent shortages,” distracted leadership, and so on can stop even the biggest corporations in their tracks.

An experiment for you: You can change your brain chemistry immediately with seven deep breaths exhaled ever so slowly — if you really want to, of course. It has to start with you.  Go on, change your brain chemistry, give it a try. If that fails, try a ridiculously strong cup of coffee.

For stressed out organizations it starts with you too. Taking seven deep breaths in the company of your peers while learning new things, making new connections and getting reconnected to the possibility of doing amazing things — enjoying one-on-one communications before, during and after — that’s what the Roadshow is for!

See you there…for coffee.

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