We’re not here to Pollyanna the coronavirus, but one of the things we hope we can learn from this is that business is a human experience. There is a return to humanity in business, and we are here for it. Why is that important for...
We’re not here to Pollyanna the coronavirus, but one of the things we hope we can learn from this is that business is a human experience. There is a return to humanity in business, and we are here for it.
Why is that important for business?
Like most business stories right now, this story starts with, “so I was on a zoom call the other day”, includes feral children, and ends with this lesson: we are weirdly grateful for the return to humanity in business that this is providing us. There is a process of clearing away of how you are supposed to be and to act, and the whole world is getting on board with caring less about a façade of professionality.
We can’t help but be curious to see how much of this we will retain, or will we pretend none of this happened and go back to hiding our humanity? Will we go back to limiting this sense of intimacy we are forced into now?
This crisis is stretching the bounds of what we thought was possible. For instance, we may have thought we were being creative, but it was only creative within the constructs of what we have to be creative about. Creativity never shows up at the level it does when you don’t have other choices. When you are truly hemmed in, creativity reaches a new level.
And the coolest thing is that the CEO in the room is just as likely to be the person whose pet or spouse comes crashing through the call as the intern. Whether we like it or not, we are all just humans. We have perpetuated this myth that in business, you are always supposed to have it together. But we can’t even pretend that everything is together now.
Don’t forget that you are talking to a human. Don’t underestimate the value of simply asking: “how are you?” That question used to be just an entry into the conversation you really wanted to have. But now the conversation you want to have truly is “how are you?” This crisis took it from the appetizer and made it the entrée, and we should remember how that intimacy feels moving forward.
If on the other side of this, we end up where some degree of authentic humanity remains in the soup of whatever business looks like, that will be a good thing. Business is a human experience.
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