Many moons ago, when I was a little girl, I remember getting my first mobile phone on Christmas Day. It was a Motorola with a 3-inch aerial and very loud beeps. I loved it! Facebook didn’t exist until I left university and if I’m honest, I’m glad I experienced life before social media. Life as a teenager without Facebook was much easier to cope with whilst dealing with the myriad of adolescence hurdles. That said, 20 years later and we’re presented with an array of digital devices that can do all sorts of cool stuff, from log our health stats to paying for goods in shops.
The digital industry has soared across the last few years and the whole team at Fifteen bring a diverse set of digital expertise to a wide range of businesses and organisations each and every day. And if digital wasn’t as big as it is, I wouldn’t be sitting writing this as a Digital Producer!
So, how do we do what we do at Fifteen? We do it through results-driven marketing stats, industry quality code and memorable UX design, but most importantly we do it through one thing that I’m keen to emphasise: we do it through human interaction.
Human interaction? Isn’t that obvious? Yes, it’s glaringly obvious, but with the rise of our relationship with screens, it’s important to remember that we mustn’t forget the importance of human collaboration in a digital world.
Since the beginning of time, first impressions have always mattered and never more so than in the world of e-commerce. With the ever-growing importance of creating the best shop front for your business, the website project process is one that requires top quality human interaction and this starts with emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EI) isn’t about seeing how many emotions you can define in someone and then totting up the score – well actually on second thoughts, I guess it is because if you can read people’s emotions that’s the first step towards a stronger connection with EI. The second step is using your awareness of emotions to their advantage and seeking to get the best result for all parties.
In contrast, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast becoming the next big trend in the 21st century. Apple’s intelligent personal assistant, Siri, is great for finding out the weather forecast or sending a message to a friend and will even respond to jokes using on trend acronyms such as LOL, but Siri won’t comfort you in a crisis. Studies have shown that the omnipresence of screens in our daily lives, has an impact on the strength of our human relationships both personally and professionally.
Here are my top 3 emotional intelligence qualities to support the launch of a website:
The art of listening
The art of wholly listening to another person whilst they’re talking is slowly diminishing and yet it is one of THE most important elements of all human interaction. Because technology now means we’re able to multi-task more readily than ever before, we’re constantly on high alert to check that email, watch that video, or check that Facebook post. Now that we have instant answers at our finger tips our attention spans are shorter, which can affect our ability to simply listen. Listening is crucial to the production of website projects and it works both ways between the project team and the client. Having a more heightened ability to focus and listen ensures the whole project team are absorbing key information to help deliver the best solution for everybody.
One of the key elements of my role as a Digital Producer is bringing everybody together to achieve a common goal. Showing and expressing empathy for those involved in a project is fundamental to delivering an amazing website. In a typical website project team, there are a number of skillsets and personalities all joining together and this can display conflicting or opposing viewpoints. Being able to put yourself in another person’s shoes as much as possible is a sure-fire way to strengthening relationships and leading all team members towards focusing on the common goal.
Most of us are unaware of the way we signal our natural expression, that is unless we press the smile emoji on our text messages. Human expression is much more complex, so the ability to recognise emotions and expressions in others is the route to building strong relationships with colleagues and clients. If I’m sat in a meeting and I offer my solution to a challenge but a web developer pulls a negative expression, then it’s my responsibility to question it. There’s a reason the web developer pulled the facial expression, and for all intents and purposes, it could be the ticket to a stronger solution, and ultimately a better website. The more project teams actively seek to strengthen their ability to read emotions and respond positively, the better communicators we become.