The world has changed and continues to evolve at an eye watering pace. How you choose to communicate in this shifting landscape will determine your success and, ultimately, your level of fulfilment. Will you opt for overwhelm or will you rise up and slay some of your corporate zombies?
In every office, every meeting space and every open area you will have witnessed the zombies. They are everywhere.
In every corridor you can hear the shuffle of their feet and the guttural moan of the horde. It’s quite an epidemic, the virus is everywhere.
We have a choice; join their ranks, groan along to the constant hum of boredom or rise up and become a communication zombie slayer.
If you are brave and courageous and hungry for meaning then you will choose an alternative path.
The Armageddon can be halted and this implausible situation can be turned around, but only if we acknowledge that we are surrounded by the ‘undead’.
Take a look (discretely) left and right and survey your office space. There they are, locked onto their screens, tapping away in a haze of tedium. Sending another email and another and another. Try engaging them in conversation and listen to them type as they grunt and grown their response.
Time to begin ‘slaying’, time to reverse the spread of the zombie virus. Time for a proper conversation.
The trick here is to separate the zombie from his source of ‘brains’, the PC, laptop or tablet that is sucking the life out of human interaction. Step away, leave your desk, close the lid on your zombie device and take notice of the real person before you. You will soon see the mist lifting from their eyes and humanity returning and then you can really make some progress.
Another sign that the ‘walking dead’ are fastening their grip on your world is their proximity to their ‘mobile’ brains; their smart devices that draw their attention constantly, draining them of their humanness.
Try putting your phone to one side and walking away. Separate yourself from your device and see how it feels. The more naked and uncomfortable the feeling the more the zombie virus spreads through your veins. You are well on your way to becoming your very own android.
Turn it off. Do you remember how to do that? Power down and man up, there are some zombies to eliminate. Take a look around you and see how many conversations are being destroyed by our hand held brain supplies. In every meeting, coffee shop, bar, office and probably classroom, the brains are being devoured in mobile chunks.
Turn it off, put it down and bring back the human. Look up, stop shuffling and see the world anew. Instantly you will sense the freedom that your human focus will allow you. Crazily invigorating.
We have shifted. Our focus has moved to the screen, ironic really, as this article is likely to be on your screen too. We have evolved so, so quickly to a screen based world that communication has not been able to keep up. It feels like it has, with countless methods of communicating available at the touch of a button but this is not a complete picture. We are missing some vital communication ingredients that separate us from the ‘brain’ hungry zombie.
Whatever we want to know is available – ‘brains’ are always accessible as long as we have our mobile and some Wi-Fi. These are the ‘brains’ that the modern zombie craves. Modern interactions are an exchange of content, a download of information from one to another, a transaction. We are drowning in this ocean of noise and are overwhelmed by these transactional interactions.
What is not always available, however, is meaning. The zombie brain is satisfied with this sustenance but this should not be enough for the slayers among you. Those of us that are not walking with the horde should still hunger for emotion, connection, human feedback, sentiment, compassion and association, for this is what makes us mortal.
Zombie communication lacks empathy, rapport and essential resonance that enables our human interactions.
I invite you to join me and fight the Armageddon, it’s not too late but the virus is spreading fast. Put down your screen and pick up your metaphorical machete, there are zombies to slay!
Nick Looby is a communication specialist and makes his living slaying ‘communication zombies’. If you feel that your team are infected then give Nick a call and between us we can battle the horde.
Nick’s zombie hotline is 07800 662450 or try firstname.lastname@example.org @NickLooby if the virus is starting to take hold. Happy hunting.