Communication is what separates us from other animals.
Communication makes us human.
So, why do most workplaces seem dead-set on stripping all the humanity from business communication?
In this Takeover episode, host Ethan Beute speaks with Darin Dawson, President and Co-Founder of BombBomb, a company hoping to make a dent in the universe by rehumanizing the way we communicate in our careers with video.
The social species
It’s not an overstatement to say that communication is one of the most important aspects of what it means to belong to humanity.
Yeah, other animals communicate. But there is a difference between growling at a threat or parading colorful feathers for romance and what we do.
Sure, we may dance and show off some bling at a nightclub, but we also have the option of crafting a Shakespearian sonnet or composing an epic romantic rock ballad.
We can growl at humans we find threatening or we can pen scathing letters to the editor, craft a biting satire, or vote them out of office.
“I believe that human beings communicate with each other in a way that is unique. And we are currently stripping all that uniqueness out of our business communication.”
Our communication allows us to create global societies. We can share the better worlds of our imagination and work together to make them a reality.
All of that is made possible by the relationships we are able to form through our species’ uncanny communicative ability.
The beauty of the relationships built with this very skill is what led Darin to found BombBomb.
He looked around the business world and saw a problem.
Communication was no longer human.
The trouble with business communication
Communication is what transforms a company from an idea into a thriving business.
We sell to humans. We make deals with humans.
We need the humans in our organizations to share our vision and align with our goals in order to achieve them.
Why work for weekends?
Business is built on human relationships.
Yet, too many of us count the hours until the day is over at work because that’s exactly what’s missing from our jobs.
“We look forward to weekends because we can be with the people we care about. I think we can create more relationships like that in our business and make it a richer experience.”
So, why did we stop communicating like humans?
Customer experience and revenue
The entirety of leadership, marketing, sales — and probably even the interns — all know that people buy from people.
The average consumer flees from faceless corporate communication.
And customer experience is entirely defined by how businesses communicate with potential buyers.
But, these days, we make cold calls, send cold texts, and spam emails to one another, hoping that somehow the volume will make up for the lack of human interaction.
And it’s not that these can’t be effective tools.
They’re just not the best for building relationships.
The value of video
If we want to build the relationships we need to succeed in business we need to find a better way of communicating than text, emails, or even phone calls.
It’s not impersonal, it’s business
People recoil from sales pitches sent blindly by someone who sees them only as an email that might have a wallet for obvious reasons.
A mass email is one extreme — most people don’t get excited to see a script with their name, possibly misspelled, pasted into it because it looks like you don’t care about them as human beings.
And if you are sending these, you probably don’t.
Personalizing an email can improve the situation. A text is even better.
And a personalized phone call is about the best-case scenario in most business settings, but it’s still not ideal.
Reading between the lines
Even as a marketer or salesperson with the best intentions to truly build a meaningful relationship with customers, the go-to methods of business communication can fall apart.
At some point, every person has had something go awry in a text or an email and thought the same thing:
If I could only explain in person.
That’s because so much of our communication relies on nuances that go deeper than language, despite its complexity far surpassing the communication skills seen in other animals.
We gesture, add intonation, and make facial expressions that all serve to convey as much information as the words we use.
And our relationships depend on these nuances.
“People are better face-to-face. Humans are better than text.”
So, Darin’s solution was simple: Use video to capture as much of these nuances as possible when communicating from afar.
The dent in the universe
BombBomb’s technology makes it easy for users to send not just personalized messages, but personal messages instead of relying on cold technology for cold calling.
It’s how he’s trying to rehumanize the business world — but his vision goes beyond that.
Most of the worst problems in the world stem from dehumanization, whether that be human-trafficking or homelessness.
And what each one of us needs most in the world is human connection.
Rehumanizing communication has the power to change the world.
For Darin, the fact that BombBomb’s technology has already been used by one person to raise money for treatment for his dad’s cancer makes him feel like he’s already made the dent in the universe he was after.
But why stop there?
Everyone has the power to make their own dent.
So, take a look at what’s missing in your career and ask yourself:
How can I rehumanize this experience?