Why Human Connection is So Important.

Human Connection – is the hot topic for me at the moment.  A podcast, a trip to Rome and a process called EARS have got me thinking.

Last weekend I listened to a brilliant interview on the Portfolio Career Podcast. – David Nebinksi interviewing Brian Miller. I met them both through TPF.  I didn’t appreciate at the time the calibre of the people on that course. Doing some amazing things and launching great podcasts.

Brian Miller is a TEDx speaker and an expert in Human Connection.  One of the things that he said on the podcast hit home. Only the companies and brands that create human connection are going to succeed.  And he is right.

It’s what we are all craving for.  Human connection. Not connection via some automated email. Or a chatbot on Facebook answering our questions and then spamming us with messages.  I want to speak to a real person. Is that too much to ask?

I have had an absolute nightmare with my podcast hosting for The Feel Great Podcast. I moved from a paid option on Simplecast to a free hosting option on Anchor.   Having had no end of problems with Anchor I tried to move it back, but this became virtually impossible (still not managed!).

I couldn’t actually speak with anyone that understood what I was trying to tell them. No phone number, no messaging. My only option was a lonely email address, and even that was difficult to get an answer from!

Where are people to talk to, to connect with, to help us when we need them?

My husband and I have been out in Italy.  Funnily enough, it all started on the way out at Heathrow – no BA staff to help us with check-in.  All automated systems – half of them not working. It felt so unwelcoming. I’m all up for making things quicker, easier, safer, more efficient.

But there is something comforting about having a real person to speak with when you are trying to check-in.  For some reason it makes me feel safer – emotionally that is.

My husband was in Rome for a conference.  For him, it was all about making real-life connections.  It’s very powerful to have a meeting with someone in person.  It changes the dynamic. You get to look into their eyes, to hear them, to see them, to get to know, like and trust them.    We need to know, like and trust people and brands before handing over our money. This is why these human connections are so important.

We were both in Italy for work which was a lovely coincidence.  But also a time for us to reconnect. We managed to have some time to be together and just be. Something that can be hard with 4 kids and busy schedules.

One of the things that I enjoyed was using Brian Miller’s EARS process with Alex.  It helps you to have meaningful and engaging conversations with people. To be truly present.  Not on your phone, not thinking about who is going to get the kids from school. Or whether you are going to nail your next meeting.

Being there and listening and engaging with the other person. We often lack that connection even with those we love. This is the human connection that we want and need.  It works in personal and business relationships.

My final point on human connection and one that I am passionate about is email marketing. We don’t care anymore about all this nonsense that is clogging up our inboxes on a daily basis. We don’t care for these automated emails which people send with no thought, no empathy, no connection.  

Don’t get me wrong there are a few people and brands doing it well, but not many.  I could think of a handful, Seth Godin’s I read. Debbie Doodah – her emails have soul and value and meaningful connection.  David Nebinksi sends out semi-personalised ones too, tweaking the first bit. (‘Emmie I loved your recent blog post, or Emmie so happy to hear that your meet up went well’).

At first, I wondered what he was doing.  How was he going to be able to maintain this? But it makes a difference and that makes me want to read them.

In all the work that I do for myself on Feel Great Network and in my consulting I want to remember this.  Brands, People, Businesses – we need to hear our customers, we need to see them, we need to connect with. We need to be human.