Posted tagged ‘spatial awareness’

You’re booked


“…Identity is such a crucial affair that one shouldn’t rush into it…”

David Quammen

Social networking is brilliant and has opened up a whole new way for people to communicate; but there are pitfalls.  The clue is in the words ‘social’ and ‘networking.’  Read this as open communication, really open, read by everyone.

So why is it that at least three people I am connected to within the last few weeks have first, said they hate their job (they are linked to other colleagues at their workplace), two, declared they had a hangover and had stayed off work, and three, had a ‘pop’ at their boss.

Self-awareness is a key skill in communication and the world of social networking seems to lull people into some serious lapses.  But the award for totally insensitive and idiotic posting has to go to a politician in my local town.

In the last couple of weeks, two St Helens councillors Mike Doyle and Ken Pinder died.  I have had the pleasure of dealing with both men and they were truly remarkable politicians and local communitarians of the best type.  Both men stood for Labour and at times like this you would imagine that all parties would come together and recognise their achievements at public servants.

Well a local Liberal Democrat, David Crowther thought differently and wrote this on his Facebook page: “It might be three before long – at least one other is rumoured to be seriously ill – great shame their (sic) not our target seats, but at least it will give us the chance to see how strong they are and it will seriously distract them for a few months.”

Clearly politics is a dirty game and although it fronts itself as anything but, the opinions slipped out here are often hidden away.  Social networking has no hiding place. 

In organisational communications the projection of identity is one of the three pillars of managing reputation.  Social networking projects an identity and it is crucial that we are all self-aware whatever our opinions and be aware how other people may view them.

Space – the first, second and final frontier


“…The environments we live, work and play in profoundly affect how we are as human beings and how we relate to each other…when we are careful about the way we create a physical environment, when we pay attention to every detail of it, people start to think about themselves and each other differently…”

Andrew Mawson – author The Social Entrepreneur

One of the guiding principles adopted by Bodyproject is to use public transport when we can.  This simple undertaking is at first glance easy to achieve but it does come at a cost.  
Bodyproject is profoundly aware of space as it plays such an important part in communications.  We live in a multi dimensional world and the way we use space is extremely important.
But what about the space we create for ourselves and others?  My regular sojourns on public transport suggests that people’s use of space and their personal awareness of their and others space is sadly lacking.  A fundamental ‘learnt’ human skill is somehow diminishing and to my mind this is a serious communication challenge.
Any train or bus journey will bring forth numerous examples.  The use of technology is a major contributor.  The constant mobile phone traffic is a distracting part of any journey on public transport, the use of personal devices at invasive sound levels is also a pain; but interestingly our collective degrading of space as a valuable commodity and our skill in using it is often observed through more subtle behaviour.  It amazes me the lengths people will go to ensure they have nobody sitting next to them by creating walls of bags on adjacent seats or sitting in an aisle seat to protect an empty place by the window.  Even if people are standing it is sometimes the case that a bag will travel in the comfort of a seat unless a challenge is made.
Creating space and using space is a communication skill and from physical to graphic design, town planning to engineering; space is a major factor in any solution.  
But what of personal space?  
Our self awareness and ability to understand the needs of others is vital in being successful as an individual.  Equally, the same applies to an organisation.  
We must strive to find the ability to consider what space means for our businesses and organisations whether that be the way we design our premises, the way we encourage our employees to interact or our presence on the web.  Are we ‘metaphorically’ blocking seats next to us, making far too much noise and just totally unaware of our external environment and the needs and expectations of others.  Or are we in touch with space and its vital role in communicating and success?