The last sixteen months reconfirmed a trend that has been on my mind for several years—the growing impact of technology on our relationships. The conveniences, the instant information, the digital connections and the immediacy of everything have reshaped our thinking and the perception we have of each other and our world. The advancements during the last decade are unprecedented and have had a profound impact on the way we connect, communicate and engage with one another.
While email, text, social media and virtual meetings play a critical role and particularly did so during the pandemic, they limit our ability to connect and engage in deep and meaningful communication. It is only through in-person interactions that the depth and authenticity of true relationships manifest. The totality of our senses is in play when we sit across the table from someone and are not restricted to a screen, characters or picture.
One of the reasons we’ve been losing deep connections over time is the digitization of our lives. Technology has made it easy to connect but also easier to disconnect. As a result, more people are lonely, misunderstood, anxious and stressed. Ironically, this is happening when we are so “plugged in,” but if you reflect and review the data, it becomes quite obvious why this is happening.
It’s time for real relationships. Only a few professions (e.g., doctor, therapist) allow for the same level of realness that financial professionals practice every day. Yet, even with diverse practices and offerings, financial professionals share a desire to become their clients’ and members’ trusted advisors. They do this by listening to their clients’ dreams and apprehensions and providing guidance and advice through good times and bad.
We need to connect, communicate and engage continuously, and it takes time and effort on both sides to make that happen. While you might think that you’ve lost sixteen months of your practice behind computer screens, there was so much learned during this time. Financial professionals realized the importance of authentic communication and adopted new technology skillsets to help existing client relationships thrive and begin to build new ones. In addition, the effort to continuously engage with clients and prospects created more in-depth discussions that are the cornerstone of meaningful relationships and trust.
At Atria Wealth Solutions, we could not be more excited to continue our journey in real relationships. It is that connection, communication and engagement that returns us to our center of gravity.