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Penny Power ponders the lost art of conversation

We live in a world of short-cuts and productivity. Seeking ways to make our life easier, but ironically, we are making it harder. Results happen in life when we spend time to think, consider, and show intention in our activities.

This is my Ponder to you this week, how can we all carve time for deeper conversations and time for one another.

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering my keynote ‘The Human Touch in a Digital World’, to CISI,  The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, who have the Royal Charter to set standards of professional excellence and integrity for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals, I was at their annual event in Birmingham. A fabulous audience of mixed ages, all having some great learning from experts within their industry.

My talk was the closing speech, and our mission was to encourage everyone to consider the people they are communicating with, whether clients, suppliers, colleagues or even everyone we meet in everyday life.

My message is all about how ‘digital tech’ has connected us for productivity but disconnected us emotionally, and it is easy to track this trend. Having been in technology for 40 years, it was evidential in 2009, social media began to infiltrate all our lives deeply, and conversation turned to broadcast, Productivity Apps started to emerge, and efficiency became addictive. In January 2010, Apple announced that 3 billion apps had been downloaded in the 18 months following the launch of the AppStore.

How many tasks can I complete today?”, is one of the early morning routines for most of us. Tasks consume us, they run our lives.

I speak from the heart when I deliver my talks, I share at the beginning, that no one needs to write down anything, no one needs to remember anything from my talk, as all I am doing is reminding our souls that we need connection and love, we need to feel significant and to have opportunities to contribute to others in our way, and seek to receive it also.

25 years ago, when we had just started to build Ecademy, a social network for business owners that spread across the world like wildfire, warming hundreds of thousands of people, Thomas was given this phrase “conversations create transactions’. The opportunity to create conversations with random, super people were abundant. We all loved doing it. This is how we learned new information, shared stories, connected deeply, built trust, saw the opportunities for business. This is how we felt seen and heard. This is how we secured our future, building a reputation that had depth.

In addition to this shift from conversation to broadcast, was the ability to hold a level of confidence and credibility in your expertise that was not impacted by the truth of what was happening in your life. Now we see people holding an identity, an illusion of self, that creates barriers to conversations. Online we appear so successful and without the need for any assistance. Alongside the growth in tools that isolate us, are the growth in mental health challenges. Loneliness is made up of many deep pains, gathered over time, a feeling of ‘does anyone really care that I exist’.

The birth of the lone wolf was at this time, each of us believing that technology was our closest friend. Technology was who we spent most time with, our keyboard replaced the hug and the handshake – the human touch.

After our talk, many people stayed back to talk to me, some willing to miss their trains, many with tears in their eyes. The dawning of a reality that we have each forgotten.

Loneliness is now called a ‘Pandemic’ by the World Health Organisation, stating that loneliness shortens life, equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. What is life without the emotions of human interaction.

So this week, seek out some time in your diary to have a deep conversation with someone new. Be brave enough to share a truth in your life. Experience the joy of deeply listening, learn to ask deeper questions, show someone that they are significant to you, and you are grateful to know them.

Enjoy the beauty of ‘the human touch’, it is all about human emotion, it doesn’t have to be in person, believe me, I am deeply connected, with our heart. To many people that I don’t get to physically see. Digital does not have to divide us. It can connect us emotionally as well as for all the efficiency reasons we seek.

Have a fantastic week, sending our love and gratitude to you for reading my words and allowing me to connect with you. Please also remember that Thomas and I believe deeply in the power of community for your business and are always interested to talk about what BIP100 can achieve for you.

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