Making Space for Authenticity

by Carel van der Merwe
28 May 2020
An image of human connection

Are you suffering from conference-burnout? 

Since the inception of the lockdown, companies have rushed to implement their long-outstanding tech and software upgrades under the banner of improving their business models and becoming more efficient. 

Never mind the COVID infection: it appears as though every consulting business, training department, regulator and the like saw the same gap and started rolling out webinars, conferences and/or video calls to share their knowledge. 

The YouTube library has burst at the seams with new channels and contributions from specialist commentary, training and messaging. 

With very few exceptions, most of the new material starts off with: “back to normal is dead, long live the new normal”. 

Well, besides being all conferenced out, we ask the question – does that mean clients value the theoretical efficiency and access provided by technology over an authentic personal touch? 

We can’t deny the benefits of effective technology. We would, however, argue that this can and should never replace EQ and the age-old skill of “understanding people”, effective communication (including body language) and the subtle nuances of engaging in person. 

From personal experience, the value of some of the seminars attended were lost because of either the lack of two-way engagement and/or impersonal agendas where volume and “cleverness” overshadowed the mutual agreement on what is important; and this by extension reduced the video-call to background noise while I got on with doing anything else. 

On many of the smaller video calls, the challenge of technology and bandwidth will remain until the users no longer deem it to be a unique or special technology. 

A fundamental value of our organisation is “knowing our clients”, which requires a focus on being authentic and providing clients with the benefit of our knowledge and experience. Informing their decisions on risk and insurance issues.