Blog Post

Staying in touch with being human

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 18 February 2008



Staying in touch with being human
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 92
Posted DateMonday 18 February 2008 12:08 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
CategoriesKnowledge Management
PeoplePatrick Lambe 

Oh well done Patrick. I do love this post on the importance of touch in KM. I always hate it when I hear people say things like "you need to be more professional" - especially when what they are really saying is that your need to be more distant, more abstract or not involve your emotions. We don't need to be more professional - we need to be more human!

Many people do not understand my Knowledge Cafes and I am so often asked why I don't run them on-line. Answer - they would not be Knowledge Cafes on-line - they would be something different. Knowledge Cafes are about face to face human contact - they are about touch.

And people don't understand why I run so many Cafes for free. Its my way of meeting people and building relationships. In business terms it is about marketing not through brochures or ads or other traditional methods but simply getting to know people face to face and allowing them to get to know me - even touch me!

A little taste from Patrick's blog:
We are, for example, much more comfortable thinking and talking about touching things (to control them), than we are about touching people. Touch screens, touch pads, excite our enthusiasm. Talking about touching our colleagues is deemed improper, inappropriate even.

But we touch each other all the time, within the boundaries of our cultural, religious and instinctive rituals and rules around touch. There’s the playful tap when scolding someone half-seriously. The hand on the shoulder when sharing something, or on the arm to get someone’s attention in a crowd, or to convey assurance. The comforting hug when something terrible happens. The awkward embraces at farewells. The ritual handshakes at introductions and to signify agreement.
Patrick is right we should pay far more attention to touch!

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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