Almost Famous is one of my wife’s favorite movies. There’s a part in it when the main character, Russell, travels to Topeka and gets sick of hanging out with his rock and roll band and crew — instead, he just wants to hang out with ‘real people.’ I think craving something real, down-to-earth and relatable is something we all want from other people — turns out, it’s even emerging in design trends, too.
This last weekend, our local newspaper’s real estate section shared a new design trend called “Wabi-sabi.” Wabi-sabi is a Japanese approach that celebrates imperfections and authenticity. In the article, Wabi-sabi is defined as, “all about keeping things real. It’s asymmetrical design and finding flaws to celebrate. Think wrinkled linen sheets, handmade pottery, weathered wood and worn or chipped furniture that make Type-A perfectionists nervous.”
We all need to communicate in this Wabi-sabi way! That means be conversational, flawed, transparent, vulnerable—and celebrate our imperfections and authenticity. It’s these imperfections that make us real and help us connect with people.
Too often we think our communications need to be perfect. That can lead to a robotic version of ourselves, we get too formal, which leads to rigidity and a lack of connection. Of course, we want to avoid creating distractions for our audience, and that’s why we’ve blogged in the past about filler words, gestures and having a point of view. The goal of all these tips is not to make you too precise or robotic. We want you to be more real.
So embrace wrinkled sheets and those little flubs. This Wab-sabi approach can help guide us to a NEW true north, and be more real and authentic in our homes AND our communications.