Jews all over the world recently celebrated Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  OK, maybe celebrated is not the right word, because instead of getting wild and crazy we fast.  Mostly it is a time of reflection about where we are and where we would like to be.

As our rabbi pointed out in his sermon, most of us are so busy that we have no time for reflection. We let apps and tweets distract us. We literally run into walls (or cars, or each other) because we are too busy texting to notice what’s right in front of us. Ironic that our smart phones make us so dumb. 

In our virtual world, our lives whiz by so fast that we miss the chance to connect with the people who actually make our lives meaningful. If we don’t remove our headphones and put down our iPhones once in awhile, we run the risk of confusing our virtual reality with actual reality.

Everyone can relate to the need to slow down our personal lives, but what about our business lives? Do we also need to unplug long enough to make some human contact with our co-workers, colleagues, staff and clients? Can we slow down enough to think? Can we allow ourselves to accept that someone might have a different opinion? Can we quiet down enough to listen? Because without silence there is only noise, and without different opinions there is no diversity, and without thought there is no wisdom, and without wisdom it is impossible to lead. And without leadership we are just not getting very far.

We owe it to ourselves and to the people we do business with to pay attention to what is  really important. The business of public relations is about relationships, and real authentic relationships depend on real authentic connections.

For example, what if we could: 

·      Make one day a week reality day. No emails, no Facebook, no Twitter. All contact must be by phone or better yet, face to face.

·      Hold regular informal staff meetings with no agenda except to get to know each other.

·      Personally meet with each client every month. Take them out for coffee, lunch or a beer. If that’s not possible, call them. Find out what’s going on in their lives and what keeps them up at night.

·      Invite your Facebook fans to an open house.  Get to know them outside of cyberspace.

These steps can help us put some soul back in our lives and our businesses. They can help us find our inner human. Disconnect so we can reconnect. Now, step away from the iPhone and no one gets hurt. 

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