As a Performance Coach, I get a kick out of following high performing individuals, like Tamara McCleary. For years, I have been following her on various social medial channels like (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram). Tamara has been one of the major influencers in my life regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (Iot), Robotics, Cyber Security, Data Analysis, and other technologies as it relates to future trends, the future of work and relationship currency.
Tamara, wrote an excellent article a few years back that I recently reread titled - Good to Great: Build a Village Through Relationships, where she stresses the importance of relationships and how companies can engage their customers to increase brand awareness and loyalty by building a better relationship between the consumer and the company. She points out that these skills also carry over to individuals, which is why I am asking you -
How will you adapt to the changing world and workplace?
“In today’s world, we are moving into a post-consumer age called the relationship economy. With the widespread use of the internet, instant global communications and most dramatically, social media, we are entering an era defined by two-way relationships between brands and bodies.”
Jerry Michalski shared:
“Smart companies are building authentic relationships with their customers, no longer treating them as consumers. Smart governments are figuring out how to trust their citizens by opening their data and their budgeting processes, among other ways.”
The pandemic sped up the future of work initiatives for most of the white-collar workforce. 84% of the employers are digitalizing working processes, which includes an effort to have about 44% of the workforce to operate remotely by 2024.
If companies are engaging their customers and employees and creating a better experience -
Shouldn’t we do the same in our community, neighborhood or work place? Should we be teaching our children these skills or is it the school’s responsibility?
Let’s take a quick glimpse into the education industry. Change is happening, however, not at the pace of what business wants or need. Some would say schools are still pushing the old paradigm of going to college, whereas you can find CEO’s of major companies re-examining the High School to College work paradigm. Is school the community or place where our children should be learning self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management?
Yet, if we really ponder Tamara’s key point about relationships, maybe the shift that needs to occur is really about two way communication between the people in the classroom (teachers and students). Maybe, the teachers need to become facilitators of the learning process of EQ and Positive Intelligence.
Education is about people, it should go beyond books and teaching methodologies, pedagogy, etc. Its about engaging and empowering students and helping them figure out their journey of Learning, EQ and RELATIONSHIPS.
Yep, the Relationship Economy is about people. The currency is about people. Our quality of life is about people.
Even though, I’ve written this from a professional perspective - You can apply it to other scenarios, the ideas here I’m sharing are to help elevate you to your best level. A level, I like to call - your 4.3 Forty!
Below are five strategies for your future journey:
1.Create a plan. What kind of people are important for you in your future? How much time per day are you going to dedicate to Relationship building? It’s important to have a picture of who should be members of your tribe, community or village. Maybe share a few tips with your children that they can apply to their scenario in school. I’d say high school, trade school and college are great opportunities to figure out who really are your allies, frenemies and friends. More importantly, you get to figure out yourself and how you fit into the world.
Having a plan of action of how you build your relationship circle, will help you figure out who are the best people to help you achieve your goals. Having a plan of action sets you apart from others and gives you a guideline for your personal success.
2. Understand Yourself and those who follow you.
What are your strengths? What drives you? What problem do you want to solve? What motivates you?
If you don’t know the answers to those two questions, take some time to reflect. Try and think independently of those who influence you, so that you can have your own answers. Think about who, what, where and how your friends spend their time? What are their interests? Just like building personal friendships, or interests outside of work or school…most friendships are constructed (built) from understanding the people you are connecting with in order to create genuine relationships and conversation. This is a skill that improves as you improve over time. Also, its a one of those life long skills that is essential in all aspects of your life (family, career, and social).
3. Understanding what it means to be Social. Diving into social media (SM) is critical in today’s developing Relationship Economy. I’d like to challenge you to think about how companies are using these SM channels. How are Tory Burch, Amazon, Oprah, Tesla, or Spanx using SM Channels? If you share this with your, young aspiring professional - you may have to make it into a game and have her/him invite a friend to play along so that they can compare notes. Ironically, this is a great way to research companies to see what’s happening in their industry or what’s driving their brand. Getting started is easy, being consistent is the challenging part of being social. Pick one social media outlet so you won’t get overwhelmed. Start using its features and making connections. As you get more comfortable you can begin to add additional social media networks and services and expand your relationship circles from there. Some great starter Social media sites include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram. There are literally 100’s of other social media circles which vary by geography, interest, users and more.
4. Share yourself (Your Personal Brand). Ultimately, your Brand is about how you make people feel when they interact or engage with you. SM is a great way to expand your network, gather information on organizations/companies and learn new things. Be cognizant not to dissuade anyone from future interactions with you beyond SM, because as Bezos states -
The society in which we live is much more transparent than a decade ago, so share your (brand) in a thoughtful manner because you are being watched. Mistakes are criticized and amplified at a frightening rate.
5. Get REAL! Social media is a great tool and the internet is amazing for connectivity. Building genuine relationships in the virtual and physical world has become an important skill as we start to transition out of the pandemic. I’d stress to you to invest the time to meet your virtual friends in the real world and to practice communication skills daily in life. Most experts agree that non-verbal communication make up between 70% to 93% of all communication, so it’s imperative that we practice empathy in all that we do.