October 16

Coffee with Mike – A Casual Conversation About Community

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When you think about all the things that are going on, you know it's really enjoyable to talk to people. I just had a client call, and I really enjoyed talking with her, and she said something to me that was very interesting about Zoom. You know, I listen to people talk about Zoom, and they are saying 'I do not like Zoom;  I am so sick and tired of Zoom'.  You know, it was very interesting.  

What she had to say about it was 'I really love Zoom! I love Zoom because it connects me to people in a way that I can't get connected anywhere else'. She just had some comments about it that I thought were really interesting, because when I get on Zoom I'm like 'I want to disappear behind this anonymity type of thing'. I just don't want to show up . I don't want you to see me. I want to sit at my desk and I want to listen to what you have to say, or I want to listen to what the topic is about or whatever the class material is (if I'm taking some continuing education), but I really just don't want to see everybody.  

So what I'm thinking about is, there might be some appropriate ways to connect on Zoom that aren't necessarily appropriate when you are doing business.  Like when you are in a work situation, you feel like a work situation is not necessarily the best way to start building community, right? And so, one of the things that I'm trying to think about is that when I talk to people, I feel a little bit more anonymous. They can't really see me (like if we were on the phone); I can say a little bit more- I'm a little bit freer to talk about my emotions, to talk about some of my experiences, I don't have to worry 'am I gonna see that person tomorrow?'; 'am I gonna see that person at work?'; 'am I gonna see that person out on the street or in the grocery?'. I feel just a little bit freer when I know that I'm not. So I really like that about Zoom - you are anonymous , and I really like that about the phone call.  

Am I missing the boat sometimes?  Am I missing the boat when it's obvious to everyone else but me that it is a chance to build a community, and I'm just kind of zoning out? I hate to think of that. I hate to think that this is a chance that I can really get to know some people a little bit better, and they could really get to know me a little bit better , and it could enhance our relationship, could enhance the way that we do things together, and I'm just kind of zoned out?  

You know I'll give you a good example of that. I love when my grandkids call! They call me, not necessarily on Zoom, but it's Messenger or FaceTime. They call me on that and I always love to see them, but dang it, they're always calling at a time when I just wanted to see something else or do something else. Well, not always... Gosh, they are going to see this, aren't they? Uh oh! But sometimes it's just inconvenient, and you just don't buy into the moment, right? You just don't buy in. And as a result of that, I think I miss out sometimes when I don't buy in. And I just thought that was interesting to bring up. With this COVID going on, and the fact that a lot of times you are not working together, or you're not going to the grocery store like you used to, or you're not going to restaurants, you're not running into people like you used to.   

Gosh, then where do you get this interaction? And it's all about business? And it's all about being anonymous and getting your stuff done, then geez?  Who wants to do that all the time? Who wants to be on Zoom all the time doing that? Nobody! But if there is a chance to connect in a way that you're actually deepening your relationship, or building a community, I just don't want to miss that.  So I'm going to start looking for those connections.  I thought I'd bring this up as something for us to talk about, because I want to pass that encouragement along. Certainly there are periods of time we are being anonymous, and just 'getting it done' is really important because of what is structuring your day.  

But I can't afford, and I don't think anyone else can afford, to carry that structure of business into all parts of our lives. You know, you don't want to work in your bedroom,  you don't want to work in this room over here, or that room over, there because it kind of ruins the reason for going into that room. Every time you go into that room, you think about work, and now you can't relax. So there have to be clear boundaries about how you use certain rooms, or how you use Zoom,  or how you use social media.  

But what I thought would be really important for me to think about is just make sure you're not doing that business-mode;  carrying that over all the time into all these other opportunities . You know, your grandkids call, your wife calls, your husband calls, or whomever. Maybe we should try to just intentionally shut down the business aspect of what we do and who we are, and relax and allow that personal side of who we are and what we want to be and who we want to be with start to flower a little bit more. It's just a way to think about it.


If you really like what you're hearing then go to our website www.allaboutfers.com or go to our social media on Facebook or Instagram, and see what else we've got out there that might be helpful to you . We hopefully it's going to be helpful to you in some way , and when you deem it appropriate, when you think it's going to be most helpful to you, go back to our website and use more of our information, or give us an opportunity to talk to you one on one.  We're glad to hear from you! 

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