by Matt Mattson
There are far too many strangers in our world.
Even some of the people closest to us feel like strangers.
We live on the surface of each others' lives. We barely know each other. We chit chat. We keep it safe.
Meanwhile we're lonely. We don't feel seen, heard, or known. We are desperately longing for true connection.
We've been teaching this message called Social Excellence (our definition can be found on our website) for almost 10 years now. We wrote a book on it. There's a TEDx talk about it. There's a podcast about it. We teach it to tens of thousands of people every year. We teach it to students and professionals, we teach it to leaders and learners, we teach it to kids and CEOs. We teach it to organizations and individuals. We are on a mission to spread human connection by empowering others to choose a lifestyle of Social Excellence.
But why? I mean, there are the obvious reasons...
"Kids these days don't know how to have real conversations."
"The internet is destroying humanity."
"Everyone is getting so mean."
But for us, there are some bigger reasons...
The world is only changed when people gather together to talk about the things that are important to them, and we want to make that happen more often.
If businesses, non-profits, clubs, organizations, associations, congregations, and groups of any sort put real relationships at the center of their strategy, they'd find a higher level of success.
The only way to make the world a better place is by starting with the space between ourselves and other human beings. If we can create a space filled with love, compassion, understanding, and positivity there, we are doing the most important work in the world.
For us, this idea of Social Excellence has always been about changing the world. It isn't about social skills or being able to woo others. Social Excellence is about understanding that we are social animals, and as such, if we want to find success and fulfillment in life, we should probably get really good at being social.
When we teach others Social Excellence, it is rarely actually us teaching anything. Instead, we're reminding others of their natural human gift and desire for connection, and then we give them permission to use it to its full extent. We are all fully capable of shaking hands, going one level deeper in our conversations, asking better questions and then going deeper still. We're all fully capable of being generous with our attention and our intentions. We're all fully capable of authentic connection that honors the lived experience of others. We're all fully capable of vulnerably making ourselves available for connection with others.
I often talk about Social Excellence as my "spiritual center." I don't really mean that in any religious way, but I do mean that all of our work with organizations, all of our entrepreneurial pursuits that involve technology, marketing, writing, speaking, innovating, and empowering... they all are infused with the DNA of Social Excellence. The idea of Social Excellence inspires everything that we do to be about helping people connect, helping people gather, helping people change the world through their relationships with others.
We believe that every business, every non-profit, every organization, every association, every congregation, every group of any sort needs Social Excellence as a core ethic to meet its full potential. We also believe that every individual who chooses to strive for Social Excellence as their lifestyle will find transformational life improvement because of more and deeper relationships that matter to them.
I'm proud of our work with Social Excellence, and I'm excited to see who it connects us with next.