Good Monday morning,
A phone’s never landed you a job, a promotion, a raise, or a new customer, yet you might allocate more of your day to kissing up to your device — updating apps, clearing calendars, jumping at every new email alert — than to building up relationships with your peers.
And that’s a problem.
You need to ask yourself if your awesome technology knowledge is getting in the way of your getting ahead. Here are three reminders:
Talk to people.
If you only interact with your fellow human beings through technology, you’re really missing out. Real people have a great “user interface” — they smile, laugh, frown, generate unique and sometimes surprising insights, and can give you instantaneous feedback on their reactions.
Real people can also solve problems, agree to quit being a complete hassle, slip you the critical bit of info you were missing, or be spontaneously impressed by your fantastic-ness. Ya never know.
If you insist on texting-emailing-facebooking as the only way you’ll connect with others, you’ll miss out on a good part of your career (and life’s great enjoyments, too).
So more often than you’re comfortable with — put down the phone, close the laptop, and go talk to people and see if that doesn’t work out better for you.
Setting up your voicemail to email you the text of your latest messages is a neato trick.
Downloading the app that pings you every time your Google alert mentions your name within 100 words of “technology-savvy” is spiffy.
And connecting your printer to your phone to your iPad to your desktop so that you can wirelessly print your resume from the beach house is awesome.
But all your optimizing is really just goofing off, procrastinating, and avoiding dealing with the pain of going through your real “to do” list.
Quit kidding yourself. Tickling your tech toys is high-tech half-gassing it. Put the gadgets down and put yourself back to productive work.
See the real world.
Reading industry blogs, watching focus groups on your laptop, and making killer pie charts of industry trends can give you a command of the industry heights.
But you’ll be missing out on the devil. He’s in the details, it’s known.
And you can’t get a feel for the details if your face is grinding a screen all day.
“Management by walking around” became a popular catchphrase to get comfy desk-dwelling Mad Men out of their chairs to mingle with the plebs.
Today, let’s call it, “experience by closing down”… power down the iPhone, close the lid on the laptop, and put away the Kindle.
When you actually let go of the technology intermediary, what do you observe about how people use your product, talk about industry problems, or collaborate to achieve goals? Just watching people, and chatting with them about what they’re really hoping to achieve, can be eye-opening.
Most professionals find a world of difference between their personal observations and conclusions based on digitally digesting industry ephemera.
Turn off the power and turn on your insight.
You’ll be better for it.
Good luck in the search this week…
I’ll be rooting for you!