Skip to main content

Get Close

guykAre the people you like the ones you see all the time? Maybe there’s something else going on. Maybe the fact that you see them often is the reason you’ve come to like them.

Close proximity and frequent contact mean you interact with them more, and your relationship can more easily progress from acquaintance to friend because of casual and spontaneous encounters. In other words, presence makes the heart grow fonder.

Unfortunately, large companies, virtual organizations, and digital communication work against physical proximity. Electronic/virtual/digital interaction is good for maintaining relationships, but pressing flesh is better for creating relationships. This is the main reason to get out of your chair and jump into the analog world.

Companies like Zappos, the online shoe company, have figured out ways to fight isolation. For example, Zappos employees work in an open, few-walls environment that they personalize to the hilt. Zappos also turned the employee entrances and exits at its Las Vegas building into emergency-only exits, so people bump into each other at the main entrance.

Zappos even digitized closeness for its far-flung workforce. After Zappos employees enter their name and password in the computer system, the software presents them with a picture of a randomly selected colleague. Employees then take a multiple-choice test to name the person. After they make a selection, the system displays the person’s profile and bio.

The Brafman brothers, in their book Click: The Magic of Instant Connections, sum up the principle this way: the single most important factor in determining whether or not you connect with another person is neither personality nor mutual interests—it is simple proximity. So get up and EBWA (enchant by wandering around).

Excerpted from my book, Enchantment, The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions

One thought on “Get Close

  1. Totally agree, Guy. Our team often practices EBWA to nearby cafes. This has led to many memorable bursts of creativity.
    Look forward to meeting you at the BC2 conference. We hope it will lead to more face to face meetings within the campus communications community.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: