#BehindTheMask – Face to face with the truth

Thirty minutes into the meeting, after all the niceties and not so nice-ities had been aired and exchanged, I got a glimpse of the truth. The ask was clear. Get involved don’t wait for an occasion or an invitation. Show up before I demand to see you. Lean in. 

This got me thinking, how many times have I preached… “meet the media with no agenda”… “Let’s Face It” was another favourite line of mine, underscoring the importance of ‘face-time’. 

It is easy to advice, tougher to walk the talk. I’m now reminding myself to meet clients and media with no agenda. Not to waste their time, but to understand how to be of better service to them. Maybe that’s an agenda, I don’t know, but if it is, I think it’s a good one. To better understand their agenda puts me in a better place to help.

Last week I met lots of people that were not demanding my time. I had no agenda. No ask of them. I received so much though. Warmth, laughter, shared knowledge, shared memories. Most importantly I received and shared honesty. What’s really going on behind the social media mask. In person, in the moment, I find that I am willing to share more of what’s really going on, and so too are others. 

Tips on how to deal with the ‘empty nest’ and how it’s not so bad- from one well-wisher. A lead for a new business opportunity from another. An ask for career advice in terms of the possibilities that lie ahead, led to some interesting conclusions. Another friend offered feedback on an area that I need to improve on.

A CV of someone looking for a job that fit an open profile I knew of. A connect with another communicator who is an executive coach. Connecting the dots and connecting people seemed to just happen, when I was out and about making genuine connections.

These are the fruits of last weeks ‘face to face’ meetings. Where for a few fleeting minutes truth was spoken. The unvarnished kind. Feelings were shared. Weaknesses and fears acknowledged. Joys and triumphs celebrated. Genuine human to human contact. It’s powerful stuff. 

One of the ways mental health and wellness comes alive for me, is from feeling connected with the world. I am told (by lots of research) we are social beings and the secret to a long, happy life is the quality of social contact and interaction we have. If that’s true, last week added a few weeks to my life as I had the pleasure of connecting with so many lovely people and enjoying their company.

In the process work got done. Life came alive. Make the effort. Make the connection. Lean in. Get involved. Don’t wait for an occasion or an invitation. Start today. Call someone you have not met in a while and fix a meeting. By all means, use technology to fix it up, but make the human connection. Face to face, in the moment, is where you will find out what is really going on. That’s when you will come face to face with the truth.

Remember to wear a face mask when you are out and about, meeting people and getting to know what is really going on #BehindTheMask of social media. 


The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Vice Chair of Weber Shandwick India. Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.
Nikhil is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF).
He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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