Can Humanistic Relationships Survive Social Media?

What does it take to be a successful leader? There are no proven answers, but there is a dramatic and positive shift in the humanistic characteristics that are associated with great leaders.

The Baby Boomer Generation was dominated by the cognitive orientation that feelings were ignored and further got in the way of making clear, concise decisions. Recent research finds that emotions, feelings and moods play a central role in the characteristics for the X and Y Generation leaders who are succeeding the Baby Boomers.

Data indicates that effective leaders possess an innate ability to engage others and intuitively read humastic signals and respond appropriately. The generation succeding Baby Boomers today are the smartest generation. They are multi-taskers, globally and technologically proficient. The X Generation ranges in age between 36 and 50 years old and has over 64 million people. The Y Generation (Millennials) is comprised of over 75 million people and the firstborn Millenials are now in their mid-thirties. These generations generally possess better communication skills and relationship savvy than their younger generational constituants who are in their twenties. The younger Millennials are increasingly globally and technology proficient, but their ability to communicate one-on-one has been negatively impacted by their dependence on digital online and social media.

Humanistic Relationship skills are essentially one’s ability to instinctively and intuitively understand the world around them and how the presence of their words and actions affect others. Social media and smartphones have offered a convenient alternative to face-to-face interaction and have removed opportunities and experiences for the younger generations to develop real-time, in person social skills. Smartphones, social media and the internet are re-shaping corporate culture. What used to be a phone call or an in-person meeting is now a quick click. The lack of authentic interpersonal interaction has left younger Millennials trying to fill a void by clicking. They are more comfortable with their digital cronies, that they call “friends”, but have no relationship with. These elements derail their ability to successfully translate into a corporate environment and engage with their co-workers, as well as progress in their career toward leadership roles.

Today the pressure is greater than ever for corporations to encourage in-person communication and to promote professional relationships as well as emphasize the importance of introducing new technologies. There is a dangerous balance in integrating an accelerated rate of technology if we ignore the humanistic relational aspects.

Technological growth and advancements must be complemented with real time relationship cultivation, communication and personal face-to-face interaction so that these succeeding generations will continue their personal growth and professional growth in managing a dynamically changing world.

Relationships help us cope with the alarming and unsettling rate of technological changes in the workplace and the world around us. So, as the rate of technological advancements increase, the value of relationship building should increase accordingly.

For 17 years, Executives Unlimited has been committed to responsibility, integrity and leadership in helping our clients bridge the gaps in their strategic executive workforce planning, and we’d be happy to help you with your changing needs. For information about our services, call us at (866) 957-4466 or contact us online today.




[1] Psych Central – What Is Emotional Intelligence

[2] Modeling habitual and addictive smartphone behavior The role of smartphone usage types, emotional intelligence, social stress, self-regulation, age, and gender