In our culture, we celebrate the individual. We each have to get up and out on our own. The individual is the source of all ideas. The individual gets the jobs done. The final decision rests with each of us. Each of us decides what classes to take, what jobs to apply for, and when to move up, over, or on.
Yet there are downsides to our focus on the individual. In “Together,” by Vivek Murthy, the US Surgeon General, points out that 22% of our population is chronically lonely, and chronic loneliness is a greater predictor of early death than obesity and smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. We are social creatures, we evolved in extended family units. Isolation is a modern problem, brought about and shaped by our economy. But none of us works in isolation, even solopreneurs have partners and customers.
Our business is in educating, empowering, and engaging individuals in their personal, professional, and civic lives. We aim to raise the power of the individual, and we think the best way to do this is in small groups. There are three primary benefits of working in a small group: 1) The leadership and guidance of a trained mentor or coach, 2) creative support for your ideas and growth from your group members, and 3) accountability to the group to keep you on track to meet your goals.
What makes a good group? A good group is where the group members achieve what they set out to achieve, aided by a free flow of quality information. We gravitate to tangible value, perhaps some new relationships, and maybe some enjoyment along the way. What value do Facebook and LinkedIn groups provide? We think social media groups do not achieve these goals. On social media, the group is “free,” and the users are the product.
Healthy communication takes a certain amount of content transfer validated by comprehension checks. With our social media, messages are fragmented, sequences are scattered, and acknowledgment is incomplete. Complex communications, including emotionally charged situations, require emotional processing and trust. Without this “full bandwidth” for emotions and body language, we resign ourselves to incomplete, unsatisfying exchanges. Asynchronous conversations risk quality decay as a result of time between messages. We lose track, move on to other topics. There is a certain amount of “breakage” in disjointed conversations. We have gotten better at multitasking, but we still can only really focus on one thing at a time. The net ROI of social media groups’ efforts is poor.
In social media, the “acknowledgment” step is intentionally engineered out of default information flows so that we never know if we are seeing the messages we might want to see, or if the messages we send are being received. This creates perpetual anxiety or FOMO. Combine this with the ubiquity of our 24×7 devices, and we live with constant stress. We speed up and cut corners. Good for maximizing busyness, not so good for quality interactions and results (or our health).
We host groups built around a common purpose. Instead of distraction, shopping opportunities, and missed communications, we offer real value and growth. Contact us to discover or form a group.