What we learn from talking

What we gain from turning up and talking!

Some slate the proliferation of conferences, seminars’, breakfast meetings and online gatherings and their likes as a waste of time. Some say we need to just get on with it and stop wasting time and money and then there are some who say that consultancies and technology suppliers just do this to gain more customers. Of course, this is a part of it. Sales and Marketing are key to any business, indeed any sector, including social housing. We are not that precious that we can ignore this. This apart, some care a great deal about events and the opportunity to talk and to improve knowledge, to share ideas and to learn.

As a business owner I have never shied away from telling it as it is. Yes, we all need to make a living, and need to sell services, but some of us really do care about the sector. You all knew, or you do now, that I grew up in a Council house. Some know that we found it tough when my dad died at an early age, and times were not easy. So, I care. As I remember what it was like, the good and the bad, I remind myself almost daily as to why I now commit myself to a sector I really do want to achieve great things. I

So, naturally, as a business, we talk. My company believes in talking about technology and it’s possibilities. We talk about its virtues, its benefits, and its ability to change lives. We talk to others who think like us, and we talk to others who think differently. We believe that working through challenges and talking them through makes a difference. We also believe that sharing ideas is a must to move forward. How do you do this, you talk of course.

When we engage with the sector, we like to make it real, not just because business storytelling is fashionable, but again it is because we care. Storytelling is the art of sharing the experiences behind your brand, culture, and mission. Its purpose is building a narrative allowing you to connect with your customers and potential customers on an emotional level. People are People after all, and when you use that old saying ‘People buy from People’ then it makes sense. We are very much about who we are, and what we do. We have a mission and that is to improve the sector as much as we can through the adoption of technology.

So, that is one thing we gain from talking. We gain awareness, and nobody can really deny that making it real helps folks understand. Storytelling and being ourselves, and hopefully making a difference by talking, but also listening is key in what we do.

But that’s not really my main reason for writing this small article. My main reason is to encourage more people to talk. Don’t be shy, attend the seminar’s, go to the conferences, and talk. Ask people questions, say hello. Introduce yourself. Use the time wisely.

  • Don’t just go to the events for the freebies. 
  • Don’t walk past folks when they say hello from a stand. I will admit, some do look a bit dubious. 
  • Don’t turn up to a talk, sit at the back and send emails from your phone.
  • Don’t hide in the toilets and sleep because you had too many glasses of wine at that free drinks’ reception the night before. 
  • Don’t do a smash and grab for freebies. If you take, make time for a quick chat.

However, it’s not all about conferences, seminars, and the like.

The social housing sector is full of companies and initiatives offering online information sessions, discussions, forums. Some are even free. They are a chance to learn, to listen, but again, to take part. Ask questions, talk to folks. Conversation is a way of learning even more. 

So, there are actual events you can go to in person now. Who would have thought it? Real life conferences. There are company specific events, and there are shorter seminars and events that are either regional or technology specific.  They are all worth exploring, but please if you go, talk, take part, engage, and take away something you can adopt yourself.

I have always thought that our sector is great at collaborating. It’s open to debate and to talking, but with the area of technology I think we can do more. So, let’s talk. Let’s learn, let’s do great things together.

Turn up, tune in, take part!