A friend of mine gave me a copy of Megatrends by John Naisbitt. The book is about 10 areas that are changing that will affect the future. Now…Megatrends was originally published in 1982…before I was born. Yes, my friend is much older than I am.
I am only a couple of chapters into the book and I am hooked. The concerns and behavior of the time mirrors the concerns and behavior of today. The only thing that changes are the technology and industries. I want to share my notes and thoughts.
Chapter 1 is all about predicting the change from the US being a manufacturing economy to an information economy. The concern that is being brought up is the US education system is not equipped to handle the change.
At the time, workers who embrace computers held the super-power of the time. This makes me wonder…what is the super-power skill of today?
I think it’s interpersonal skills, specifically face-to-face verbal communication and persuasion skills.
You see, we are on a 25 year run of tech, specifically computers and smartphones, being at the epicenter of our communication systems. This is not going to change, but, the people who remember working without these tools are retiring out of the workforce. With this exodus, interpersonal skills are leaving with it.
Yet, human behavior craves personal connection, even more so now that it is less common. Those skilled in speaking face-to-face and looking people in the eye are going to be more effective than their counterparts who are uncomfortable doing so.
This will be especially true in sales.
In fact, I just read a benchmarking report from one of my industries trade associations which found that while most people became aware of potential vendors through word of mouth or email, most buying decisions were made as a result of face-to-face meetings. Additionally, this same group listed email and software as the primary method of communication.
So basically, people are more comfortable communicating digitally, but buy based on face-to-face relationships.
What are you thoughts?
Also published on Medium.