We all tend to be socially narrow. It’s a natural part of human behaviour. We form close bonds with those that have similar interests, similar experiences, similar backgrounds, similar ideals. Tanya Menon, in this great TED Talk, highlights how this becomes a problem when we are looking for new ideas or a new perspective. She suggests that it is times like these when we need a wider social universe.
3 suggested ways to do this are:
- Use a more imperfect social search engine – We are creatures of habit from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. Following the same path, eating at the same times and places. This results in seeing the same people day after day. So change it up, take a different route to work, eat at a different time and place. Make an effort to meet and mingle with different people. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and create ‘accidental contacts’.
- Be mentally courageous in travelling your social universe – Mentally compressing our social networks at a time of stress is quite common. But that is the exact time we need our social networks the most. One simple step offered for these times of stress is to remind yourself of your networks and to look at your Facebook/LinkedIn connections. Most of us have a large network but forget to draw on them in times of need.
- Reach out to people as partners rather than resources – Transactional thinking versus humane thinking is what we normally do. Often, if we ask for a favour or for help, we attach an “I owe you one” to the request for assistance. Start thinking of ways to eliminate the transaction and language that facilitates this.
Watch the full 14 minute TED Talk below.
Interested in other thought provoking TED Talks we have shared. Check them out here.