“Old school” executives may consider digital interaction antithetic to building in-person, meaningful human connections.

However, in a world rearranged by the recent global pandemic, you can no longer afford to be “old school”. Furthermore, digital technology can be a boon to building human connections, for business leaders and leadership development professionals alike.

Building Human Connections Digitally

digital intervention

Digital interaction is what you make of it. 

How can you build real, impactful human connections digitally? The undertaking requires a two-pronged approach.

On a personal level, you need to rework your mindset.

  • Challenge your core beliefs and define a new digitally-focused mindset.
  • Actively promote your new mindset over your old one.
  • Channel this new mindset into new behaviors.

Leaders and leadership development professionals need to rethink the way they interact with learners. Beyond the obvious challenges, digital interaction offers some great opportunities in this respect.

  • Connect with yourself.
  • Enhance the components of your communication skills outer-core leadership competency.
  • Optimize your digital interaction technology. Learn to use it properly.

Reworking Your Mindset, Changing Your Behaviors

As a leader or leadership coach, you need to rework your mindset into a digitally compatible form. Only this way will you stand a realistic chance to leverage the powers of digital interaction into meaningful human connections.

Challenge what you now know. Leave your comfort zone and explore the possibility that the opposite of your current belief system may work. Define your new mindset around a set of principles that describe successful digital leadership.

  • Embrace innovation and grow comfortable with uncertainty.
  • Focus on exploiting the opportunities the digital era presents.
  • Promote creativity and digital dexterity.
  • Make experiential learning and development your top priority.

Develop routines to reinforce your new mindset. For a while, your new mindset will struggle with your old one for supremacy. Adopting new behaviors in line with the new mindset will tip the balance in favor of the latter.

Optimizing Interaction with Learners

To be able to properly coach, you need to have achieved an emotional and physical balance. Take care of yourself and keep your cortisol levels down. This will allow you to retain energy and to connect with others better.


To optimally connect with others, you need to be “in shape”. 

In my books, I have always attributed great importance to what I have called the fifth outer-core leadership competency: communication skills.

To improve this essential competency, listen fully, provide effective feedback, engage in constructive conflict-management, communicate clearly, and focus on building genuine relationships.

Learn the ins and outs of the digital communication technology you use. Make sure your tools suit your needs. Turn on the video, and require those you coach to do the same. Turn off notifications and ensure that your internet connection can handle your communication requirements.

Recognizing the Advantages of Digital Interaction in Leadership Development

Why should you jump onto the digital interaction train? Beyond clichés such as “digital is the future”, digital technology offers leaders and leadership development professionals a set of well-defined advantages.

  • It scales your coaching activity and makes it affordable to all organizational levels.
  • It can make your interactions more targeted and effective.
  • It grants you the power to collect and analyze data, thus giving you ways to measure success and draw valuable conclusions.


Back to blog