The Human Moment


Daniel Goleman stated in a TED Talk ‘There is a newly coined word in the English language for the moment when the person we’re with whips out their BlackBerry or answers that cell phone, and all of a sudden we don’t exist. The word is ‘pizzled’: it’s a combination of puzzled and pissed off’. I think we have all been there. That feeling of suddenly being Priority Number Two, Three or Four to an electronic device.

human moment, compassion

Source: sbisson

We have so many gadgets that are supposed to make our lives easier, yet they seem at times to take us further away from each other. Many have written and spoken about how bad this is, yet so many of us still do it. Why? According to Edward M. Hallowell in in a Harvard Business Review Article entitled “The Human Moment at Work”, we all know and recognise that face to face contact is important, but they require energy. Energy we would rather spend elsewhere. As a result, we turn to electronic means to communicate and lose touch with our fellow human beings. The results can lead to paranoia and anxiety.

When my clients are describing a problem to me, often it’s the first time they have ever verbalised it. In their heads, this problem has been building up and sounding like a catastrophe. Once out loud, it doesn’t sound so bad. This does not mean that all of our problems can be solved by just saying them out loud, but it is definitely the first step to resolution. Otherwise, one can experience what Hallowell describes as “toxic worry”, where an issue just plays around in your head without an outlet, apart from perhaps a misunderstood email or voicemail.

So, we need these “human moments”. A lot. Like brushing our teeth or exercising, human moments need to be regular to be effective. Trust your intuition. Do you need to reach out to someone? Do you need to put down your Blackberry and give someone your attention? Strategic use of the human moment will help reduce the confusion that is all too much created by electronic communications. It can restore us and make us feel whole.

And the good news is, it’s easy to do. So, go on. Have a Human Moment right now!