Right now, we are in uncharted territory with COVID-19. One thing I know for sure, we are designed for connection and not made to isolate. We are already seeing the psychological and mental ramifications of shelter in place, and the numbers are staggering for divorce, depression, and suicide. We must move toward interacting with one another beyond Zoom.
We must be prudent, smart, and cautious, but we are losing more than our sanity by being in lock down. Like most of you, I am grateful for the tools that enable us to connect virtually. I have conducted Zoom trainings and have online training available. However, creativity does not happen in a vacuum. Look at our greatest inventions, and most of them spur from some exchange with others. A meeting, a lunch, a water-cooler conversation or a brainstorming session all lead to greater ideas than one person alone. Why?
When we are together in person, we build off of each other’s energy. Ever try teaching a fitness class to an empty room? It can be done, but it’s exhausting. Those working out at home can attest that it ain’t the same thing as being there! We feed off of each other, often challenging each other to do better, give more. One person’s enthusiasm is contagious, and seeing each other creates greater engagement.
Be truthful: do you multi-task when participating in virtual meetings and trainings? I know you do – I’ve been watching! Ha, okay I am not spying on you, but I do know human nature. It is far too easy to check Email and scroll through websites or social media while you are virtually connecting, especially when you mute yourself or disable the video. (Note: Why bother with Zoom, then, if you aren’t even using the video feature?) You can’t fake participating when in person! No PIBO’s during live events (present in body only)!
As a speaker and trainer, I have witnessed the value of extended learning – the ah ha’s that occur at the lunch break or in the hall after a program. One person shares how the principle impacted them or shares how they have implemented it, and someone else gets an idea. New ways of thinking occur, and creative solutions are born.
Working from home is great, but it has its limitations. Trust me, I have been working from home long before COVID-19 required it. I know how important in-person connection is and seek networking groups and peers to meet face to face in order to keep my creative juices flowing.
Getting together in person will look different, but it is paramount if we are to stay ahead of our competitors. Our future innovation and invention depend upon it! Start discussions now on how it will look for your organization. Looking for help? I’d be happy to have a conversation.