Technology – Are We Permitting It to Disengage Us, Block Communication & Growth?

Everybody knows…

Ask anyone in business and they’ll agree with you that the brain is incredibly powerful. Most will agree that we only use it about 10% of its capability probably because they heard or read it somewhere.

As we ‘know’ technology has catapulted our computing capability where a smartphone is standard issue and occupies a special place in handbags, purses, and pockets. There’s a special stand on the desktop and even have their own personalised cover with inbuilt tracking if you misplace it. It’s like an appendage, a limpit to which we have a physical and mental attraction. When it beeps, we reach for it as some form of (un)controlled automatic reaction…

Has the tool become the master?

The following video was sent to me with comments about how great this was and what it would do to make the scenes from “Minority Report” become a reality. And yes, if you watch this 10 min TED talk you’ll get that belief – even if you’ve no idea what the movie “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise was demonstrating.


The video, however, started with a message that maybe many miss and says a lot about where many people are today…

You might think that it was a very clever subliminal advertising promo for a new product. And you might be right. But that’s just a distraction for this purpose.

What else did you see?

Did you see what I saw in the first 2 minutes – a message about awareness and giving our permission for a computer (smartphone) to become our master rather than a tool extending our capabilities? Do you observe behaviour that Meron suggests in restaurants – with others or yourself? How we easily give ourselves permission to be distracted even in a personal conversation where the other person perceives (their reality) disinterest…   (at this point my toes are curling up as I’m answering my own questions in my mind …and once again I unconditionally apologise to my wife …)

… he forces his eyeballs back up to mine and said, ‘keep going, I’m with you’… the moment was dead.

For me, this short introduction captured the very real problem we have today of being engaged and disengaged. We do it mostly automatically without noticing – it’s our habit, we always do it that way. Of course when you start to think deeper lots of other messages come to light. What does it do for you?

Communication is a collaborative discussion

It also says to me that communication can easily be engaging or disengaging – no surprise there! The guy on another table sharing and laughing with his colleagues using the same device, a smartphone, about Instagram pictures. His colleagues were engaged in a collaborative moment. I’m sure we’ve all experienced that too.

Some questions may be…

  • Do you agree with Meron Gribetz that tools should extend our senses rather than going against them?
  • Is what you do, or what your organisation does blocking the collaborative brainpower?
  • How do you see that manifest itself?

If you ask the simple but tough questions and answer them honestly you’re along the right road to developing your can-do attitude and winning mindset. Of course, technology, business systems/processes, and other people could block or distract you. But it’s how you handle those ‘blockages and distractions’ that will make all the difference to your future.

Despite the complicated nature of some business, and with my oil industry experience I’ve seen a lot of complexity, you can always break it down into bite-sized chunks, so I still believe. Business is simple, people make it complicated.

Want to see what mindset you have? Just answer these seven questions honestly and mark yourself as follows:

Strongly Agree 3 points: Agree 2 points: Disagree 1 point: Strongly disagree 0 points

  1. Closely supervise people even when they know what they are doing.
  2. Keep looking for ideas and solutions.
  3. Only a few people will be truly good at sports – you have to be “born with it.”
  4. Think aloud that there’s no point in trying to change anything.
  5. Encourage smarter ways of doing things.
  6. Point out that something new has been tried before and failed.
  7. Avoid sharing your views or ideas, even when invited to speak.

Scroll down to see what mindset you have below.

Here are the answers:

Growth – Can Do
Fixed – Can’t Do or Won’t Do

1 Fixed
2 Growth
3 Fixed
4 Fixed
5 Growth
6 Fixed
7 Fixed

So how did you score? Score over 5 on the Fixed answers and you could be heading for problems.

What about others around you, how would they score?


Neville Gaunt
Neville Gaunt
NEVILLE is the Chief Executive Officer of Mind Fit a private global consultancy focused on developing ‘can do’ people with winning minds. Mind Fit has divisions specialising in business, performance coaching, education and sports. He is an experienced finance professional with a highly successful background in international oil & gas at both strategic and operational levels. His extensive international experience includes small and large companies, public and private sectors with a proven record of optimising financial and commercial outcomes through a combination of original thinking, pragmatism and a determination to get results. He writes regularly on leadership, talent management, business development, advice for young people and recruitment with features in TeamPlayer360 (UK recruitment newspaper) and various websites like AskTheExperts. In his spare time, he’s an active spokesperson for small businesses, governor at school academies and outspoken on giving young people the employability skills they need so they can succeed in the workplace. His slogan is “making common sense your common practice” as business is simple it’s people that make it complicated.

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