A radical change like the New Year is always an excellent opportunity to look both backward and forwards. Last year, my friends Ryan and Conny interviewed me for the Habu and Cobot blogs, two management software programs for coworking spaces. I enjoyed the two interviews. However, they also showed me the value proximity and familiarity could have in our industry.
Both are real coworking experts. They knew which topics were relevant. However, they both know me and what I think about coworking. This allowed them to ask me the right questions. The conversation with Conny went on for an eternity. However, it was never dull, we just didn’t find an end. It rarely happens that an interview is such a good conversation that you don’t want to stop.
Many smaller conversations preceded the interview with Ryan before we sat down for the actual interview. We had already discussed everything, mostly over a few beers, so that he did know entirely how to set up the conversation. I do interviews with other people myself, but I didn’t see the familiarity and closeness with each other that existed with Ryan and Conny before. A very nice feeling.
Not only does talking intensively with other people in our industry helps to make better content, but it also creates relationships that are more important than networks. When I had a little crisis in my profession last year, the conversations with Ryan helped me personally. Not only was he part of a network that I could ask for advice, but he was also a friend to me at the time.
I believe that in the new world of work friendships are more important than networks. If my work is an expression of my personality, then professional problems are quickly very emotional. Because they always affect me personally and usually very intensively. In such situations, you don’t need good advice from experts, but you need friends who are there for you. New Work needs friendships instead of networks.
I’m not a fan of resolutions, especially not at the beginning of the year, but if you have understood something and internalized it for yourself, no matter when, then you can’t ignore it either. Instead of just getting to know more and more people, I want to devote myself more to the people I meet — less superficial networking and more familiarity with each other. We should all get to know each other better.
Header Image: Katharina-Franziska Kremkau, Copenhagen 2018