In the words of a pioneer of Psychology, we’d be better off grabbing the reality of humanity for what it is, as opposed to through the lenses of theory, including scientific theory. It was 1959. The Self has been invented; the Selfie needed another 55 years.
Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throughout the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul. Jung, C.G. 1959. The Undiscovered Self.
In other words: Out! See places, leave the armchair, talk to people, preferably real people, no screens.
Management 2015 translation. Is there any? A less dramatic one, but yes. Social interaction, don’t abandon the face to face, see customers with your sales force, wonder around the floor, de-digitalise a percentage of your social-ability; if you can, visit other companies, other industries, take your Self for a big walk. Out, out, out!
Conservatively, probably we spend 75% of then time managing inwards, and 25% outwards. Internally, probably 75% in the formality of some processes and the traffic of information up and down, and 25% talking to real colleagues.
We all need to find our real worlds, and live them and learn from them. Not the theoretical worlds, the market research worlds, the Management Theories worlds, the spread sheet world, the Inbox worlds.
Jung’s call in 1959, dramatic and ‘Jungian’ as it is (what else?) is a little reminder for us on where to focus attention. The environment is different, the choices are similar: the real world or its avatars.
Define them as you wish but, at the very least, get out of that screen!