People are Valuable

People are Valuable

I have found myself spending a fair amount of time recently trying to decide what to write about in this column. I have been doing this for a long time. And then today, an idea emerged.

I belong to a few business groups. For a long time, we all met on Zoom. Then we felt safe and liberated enough to meet in person. However, not all members felt that way, so we alternated between Zoom and in-person meetings. One of the groups now meets each week; Zoom is history. Another group alternates weeks. A third group just had their first in-person meeting.

I have said before, I am an in-person person. Considering what I do for a living, knowing someone is enhanced by seeing them, watching their face and body language. I have had many clients acknowledge their own realization of the difference when I began seeing them in my office after phone sessions.

When I went to the business group today, we met at a restaurant, sat outside, and there were 15 of us. It started with a couple of people who engaged in conversation, and then the conversations changed as more people came. After a while, always the observer, as well as the participant, I noticed the configuration of the conversations changed. At times, people spoke to the person next to them. At times, it was someone across the table. At times it was a groups of five engaged together.

The whole time, people were talking and listening. There was a break when one member did a presentation about her business. But the rest of the time, everyone was engaged with one of more members of the group.

The amount of energy that went into participating was significant. People were smiling. People were asking or answering questions. People were sharing their own experiences based on what they were hearing.

There was clear investment by everyone. A feeling of connectedness and warmth seemed to overlay the whole group.

I am aware that I am projecting an opinion based on observation, but I do have much experience in gauging how people are feeling. I was, as I said earlier, a participant also.

We do well when with other people. Those who have continued to be virtual or quarantined, are missing something. The ability to vocalize and listen in person is far more meaningful than from a distance. Texting, emails, and virtual interaction are not the same as being together.

The energy today was a great example. I encourage you to get together with people when you can do so comfortably. You will benefit