Are all your conversations on a laptop or computer screen these days?!
After the Zoom-Boom, virtual technology will certainly be a part of many people's new normal as we move forward, BUT for me nothing can beat a good old fashioned face-to-face chat over coffee!
I'm happy to confess that my early scpetisism of virtual meetings has been replaced by a recognition that for some people and in certain situations, a virtual alternative can work well and I now use this technology for some of my meetings, online coaching and virtual training sessions.
However, nothing quite beats the conversation you get when meeting up with someone in a coffee shop! The smells the atmosphere and the environment just relaxes people and encourages open conversation and effective communication, both of which are vital ingredients in genuine and productive relationship building.
It's the same with training. Whilst an advocate of e-learning as part of a blended approach, you simply don't get the same experience as with face to face classroom interventions. I even design distance learning packages for particular subjects and circumstances so I genuinely understand the benefits and the cost saving element is extremely attractive to many organisations, but I am also accutely aware of the limitations.
When you're dealing with values based learning like management and leadership development where introspection and reflection is key, adaptive contextualisation by the trainer is essential if you want to make the learning more meaningful and effective.
A good facilitator, teacher or trainer will read the room and react accordingly, managing the energy levels and keeping people engaged. I also believe that we learn better when we are enjoying ourselves so I aim to get the room relaxed and involved in a lighthearted but professional way, which is only possible with two-way interraction, engagement and good connection.
So, whether you're planning your next development project or just catching up with friends, colleagues or clients, don't forget the value of connection!
See you soon for coffee (or whatever your tipple!!)
All the best Phil @ Lantern
(PS my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org which is the same address for work related enquiries and coffee shop invites!!)