I was sitting in my local watering hole at the Philadelphia airport last week, sadly I have one, and as I looked around the crowded bar everyone was staring at their device, there was no interaction with the person literally three inches from them on either side. Twenty years ago travelers would probably have been involved in conversation with those around them. It made me think, that in this age of virtual everything is there a need to have physical presence with clients, with employees? I can literally have hundreds of “friends” around the world who I’ve never meet but hey, we’re friends.
And yet that live, physical connection is needed to build trust; key to any successful relationship. It’s why we spend time with clients and why I get on a plane every week to be in Philly (our agency has two locations and I’m based in Chicago). At the end of day we may live in a virtual world but as humans we’re hardwired in needing to experience connectedness (trust) through physical proximity. As leaders we can never relinquish the task of building trust and connectedness to technology, it’ll never be deep, genuine or authentic for the clients or employees.