speed dating

As Editor Hannah Montgomery crosses an item off her bucket list, she uncovers what the world of speed dating is really like… and how seeking a connection ties into internal comms.

When I booked tickets for speed dating, I’ll admit I had mixed emotions. It felt like something I didn’t exactly want to do, but something I needed to do, even if it was just for the experience. Besides, no matter the outcome, I could always write a blog about it, right?

All I needed to do was link speed dating to internal comms. Easy! Speed dating is all about making a connection, engaging your audience and getting messages across quickly and effectively to achieve results. Sound familiar?

So, I took the plunge, for both personal and professional purposes. Here’s what I gleaned from the experience (my ‘lessons in love’, if you will)…

Don’t fear the unknown

Truthfully, I opted for speed dating because I didn’t fancy online dating (again). It felt like an item for the bucket list: intimidating, but worth doing. And that’s precisely what it was. Walking in, I was nervous, but coming out the other side, I was pleased I’d given it a go.

Studies show we fear the unknown because unpredictability significantly increases people’s discomfort. The brain is constantly trying to predict what will happen next to prepare the body and mind effectively, and in uncertain situations, it’s harder for us to equip ourselves. And for me, someone who is a stickler for organisation and order, being thrust into an unknown environment was scary… for a moment.

After the initial entrance and introduction, I found settling in easy and the dates seemed to fly by. I was actually having fun! So, jumping in at the deep end can be beneficial, and we can apply this to the workplace, too.

Communications coach Dan Trommater says trying new things forces your brain to exercise in a new way, stimulating creativity and innovation, which can only be beneficial for business. Opening your mind to different approaches and ideas will allow you to consider things you might not have otherwise thought about.

Use your time wisely

In speed dating, you only have a short space of time to determine whether there’s a spark. In my case, we had five minutes to talk before the bell sounded and we had to rotate and move on to the next suitor.

Time, as they say, is money (the ticket cost a tenner!) and should be spent well. The same goes for internal comms – it’s important to get your point across in a quick, simple and easy to follow way, because otherwise, you’ll lose your audience.

According to h2o digital, you only have “around four seconds to grab a user’s attention and assure them they have landed in the right place”, so being as clear and concise as possible is a must. Inc.com says that information overload can create confusion and stress. So as the old saying goes: keep it simple, stupid!

Trust your instinct

Admittedly, I am fussy, but I’m also a people pleaser. So when it came to the report card you have to hand in at the end of speed dating, I found it quite difficult to fill in. I had a good time, but I didn’t feel like I connected on a romantic level with any of the 15 guys there (sigh). But, I had to trust my gut, because it’s usually right.

The same applies to the workplace. Don’t be afraid to challenge any ideas you think won’t work, or speak out if you feel something isn’t right. About My Brain says that trusting your intuition means you can make decisions quicker and adapt better to changing circumstances – you just need to have the courage to believe in yourself, first.

Of course, it’s no substitute for sturdy analysis and measurement, but it does give you a good jumping off point for any hypotheses you’d like to test. In my case, speed dating isn’t for me – which was proven to be accurate by the 15 crosses on my sheet!

So, to conclude, if you’re feeling anxious about trying something new, just go for it. Even if you don’t get the result you’re looking for, you may find you end up with something just as good, if not better.

Let us support you in finding new ways to communicate with your team. Get in touch today to get the ball rolling!