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  • Irina Ketkin - Learning & Development Expert

Connect in a disconnected age

We live in the age of communication. We are connected through email, chat, video and messages. Yet we’ve never felt more disconnected in our lives!

I recently had a chat with a good friend of mine who argued that we are not representatives of either the millennials or Gen X. Because we were born kind of in the transitioning from one to the other, we know what life is without technology and with it. And I generally tend to agree.

As cliché as it may sound, having all this connecting technology at our fingertips, makes us forget the real human connection – the conversation, the occasional lunch or dinner with good friends, the face-to-face meetings with our partners (both personal and professional).

Back in February we initiated a Training Needs Analysis dialogues with the top management at Telenor Bulgaria. We gave them some rough guidelines and asked them to speak to their team and fill in a very easy and light template and send it back to us by the end of the month. It took countless e-mails, reminders, chats and phone calls to nudge them to send us the information. Finally, when the last file came through, we started compiling the data. As were going through the requests we found some abnormalities. We started talking to the people below the managers and it turned out that no one spoke to them about their needs.

This is one of countless examples of people not talking. I myself am not perfect in that department – as an introvert, I do prefer to send an e-mail, rather than to talk to someone face-to-face. But I do realise this hinders my job and push myself beyond my comfort zone (results are not always what you’d expect but I am working on it).

Complaining about it doesn’t fix the issue. Instead, we need to find a way back to each other (as a BSB fan, you’ll recognise this song title!). Spend 5 minutes talking to people around you. Get to know them personally. Ask them about their job. Ask them about anything – just talk to them.

P.S. As an introvert, the irony is not lost on me!

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