Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman’s book “Click” is about the instant connections between people. The book starts with a “love at first sight” story. When two people with very different personalities meet there’s conflict, but then they fall in love and get married.
The authors report that “love at first sight” marriages surprisingly have more endurance than traditional marriages. In the second example, Jim West, one of the first African-Americans to earn a Ph.D. in physics in the US, and Gerhard Sessler, a World War II emigrant and scientist, meet. Though they both come from very different backgrounds, they click and become a powerful team that invents the microphone and solves many difficult technical problems.
The term “click” refers to a magical moment, which is euphoric, energizing and thrilling. By clicking, people have a quick-set intimacy with a special person. As the authors explain: “In other contexts, the words quick and instant don’t necessarily sound like positive descriptions (think instant coffee or quick TV dinners). But when it comes to human relationships, the bonds formed by quick-set intimacy can be surprisingly strong and create a tenor in the relationship that may be lifelong.”
The Brafman brothers explain the research on clicking in their book. The first factor in clicking is vulnerability. Under normal conditions, people try to look self-assured and as perfect as possible. However, even though a lot of authors and specialists claim that self-confidence is very important in human relationships, vulnerability seems to be more important than self-confidence. When people talk about their weakest points, they are more clickable. I think there is something that looks contradictory, but works in harmony. Self-confidence and vulnerability are two sides of the same coin. If one has self-confidence, that means he can be vulnerable. Being open in personal matters is a kind of authenticity that invites other people to become closer to you. When you tell somebody that you were not good at being a father or you lived in poverty as a child, people think that you are a reachable person.
Proximity is one of the surprising concepts of the book. People used to think that the popularity of a person was based on his/her personality. However, the Brafmans’ book argues that popularity is a function of place. The best friends in the schools are the students who sit together coincidentally on the first day of class or live in the same dormitory room. Proximity creates a click between these people. People in the heart of a network are the most popular people within this network because of location, not personality. According to the researchers, the most popular students in MIT dormitories stay in rooms in the middle of the dormitory.
Another point that the Brafman brothers uncover in their book is joint adversity. People who have experienced difficult times together click with each other. People who suffered the oppressions of a war, survivors of a shipwreck, or even members of the same Boy Scout troop might easily click. The Brafmans talk about high self-monitors that act as network hubs. Some people have fluid personalities that can easily modulate their emotional expressions and quickly incorporate norms.
What can we do with the concept of click in the business world? People can use these concepts for networking. Managers can create teams by considering click factors; I marketing, we can click with our customers. The readers of the book can begin a journey full of questions: How can our company become vulnerable? How can we train people to become self-monitors? How can we use the principle of “proximity” in business life?