Countless articles, books, videos, courses and blogs have been produced about how people can improve communication, interpersonal skills and leadership. Our perspective of human fluency stands on the broad shoulders of this vast body of research, experience and knowledge. What we hope it offers is a slightly different way of looking specifically at human interaction, helping people to practically examine and approach it with fresh eyes.
So how can we define human fluency for individuals? The way that we like describe it:
‘People who are humanly fluent bring a high level of depth to the relationship and interaction, enabling them to truly connect with, relate to, understand and influence others. They possess the ability to discern what is happening and what is required in the human interaction, its context and the situation in which it unfolds. They are highly disciplined in the interactional skills and behaviors required to elevate conversations to a higher level of meaning, connectedness and effectiveness.’
A core belief that we hold is that if a person invests in becoming more fluent, the quality of her interactions is raised substantially. And, as more people become more fluent, a new level of ‘conversational capability‘ emerges. This capability will help shape the social and interactional fabric of teams, communities and organizations, making them stronger. In turn this will help create higher engagement, higher inclusion, stronger cohesion, more positive relationships and greater chances for sustainable results. In addition, improvements in human interactions will also help decrease the intensity and number of misunderstandings and conflicts. Whatever these benefits may be for a given team, group, community or organization, ultimately it helps them to fulfill their intended purpose.
The interesting paradox we seem to find ourselves in is that our environments have become so much more ‘VUCA’ (volatile-uncertain-complex-ambiguous), time pressured, always being online. Time and attention is scarce, connecting with people in the most efficient way, staying at the surface or being merely transactional in our interactions becomes more commonplace. As human beings we are still learning how to operate in these environments, and with the technology available to us. Let’s not forget that human interaction is, and has been, already difficult and messy enough without all this to manage.
The good news is that when we start with ourselves, by looking at how we can improve our conversations and how to use technology, we have an immediate impact when we do something different. Of course, every person is unique so how you look at improvement will depend on your current state of fluency. When we are conscious about our interactions and make deliberate choices about how we interact it can soon progress to become a new habit that fits better with our intention and purpose.
Where do you see opportunities for becoming more fluent?