Does anyone remember nuance?

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You know – the subtle differences that are out there in the non-virtual world.  Maybe it’s why some folks see Azure, Cyan, or Turquoise while others just see Blue.  Nuance is why some people who can read the words really can’t understand the meaning of what they’ve read.  It’s for sure why some managers have issues with their staff and peers – they can’t hear the nuances in tone that are so critical in interpersonal communications.

I worry about nuance from time to time.  Most of the communication we all seem to have these days is via the written word – email, social posts, and texts.  None of those things have nuance.  I think that’s in part where emoticons came from.  They can help add nuance to social posts (and are totally inappropriate for business communications, kids).  I also think that we all have been on these lengthy email chains from time to time because someone is missing the nuance in one of the notes.  Ever wonder why a brief phone call or in person meeting resolves the back and forth issues?  Nuance.

It’s not just written stuff that lacks nuance.  A lot of the evolving social scoring or influence measurement totally misses the nuance of influence.  Two of the most influential people in my life can barely turn on a computer and are invisible on the social web.  They have neither Facebook nor Twitter nor other social accounts.  The people who are influencers in my life that are online don’t have tons of followers or friends.  I checked one of my friend’s Klout score and it’s in the teens but people online and offline come to him for advice and guidance all the time.  Quantity certainly misses nuance and even attempts to measure the quality of his user base fall short.

What matters isn’t how many Twitter followers and Facebook fans you have or your business has.  What matters is how you and your business turn those embryonic links into real relationships – ones that involve nuance in the interpersonal communications.  That leads to buzz but it also leads to more satisfying bonds with your friends, your staff, your clients, and your customers.

You see the nuances?

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