What does it mean to be fluent as we interact with one another?
What is the leader’s role in creating and maintaining an environment that is collaborative and engaging?
There are many people exploring these questions, including the question of Human Fluency. Their premise is that one has human fluency when they possess three interactional behaviors: (1) depth, (2) discernment, and (3) discipline.
Anyone who has multitasked during a phone/text/IM exchange, or has watched time race by as you surfed your social media, even as you neglected meaningful conversations and experiences with those in the same room as you, can appreciate the importance of these three behaviors.
In fact, these behaviors are a potential response to the findings of Sherry Turkle’s 2011 work “Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Ourselves.”
The ideas from Turtle are summed up well when she says, “if we are always on, we may deny ourselves the rewards of solitude,” and in other parts of the book, meaningful relationships with each other. Turkle makes an important distinction between solitude and loneliness, and the title of her book captures the irony of our hyper-connected world today — while connected, we are “alone together.”
This is not a call for extremes — no need to abandon your social media. Rather, to be intentional and deliberate about how you use these tools to connect with others. And, develop the interactional behaviors: (1) depth, (2) discernment, and (3) discipline.