14.03.19 / Posted by jirehconsult

Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, how and why substances combine or separate to form other substances, and interact with energy. People who study this field are called chemists, and they are associated with lab coats and mixing strange concoctions in laboratories.

However, in reality, we are all chemists. This is because chemistry is part of our daily lives; it is in everything. Understanding basic chemistry concepts is important for almost every profession. Chemistry is one of the physical sciences that helps us to describe and explain our world.

Chemistry is involved in everything we do, from growing and cooking food to cleaning our homes and bodies to launching a space shuttle. It is this understanding that determines whether a cook creates a Michelin star worthy dish, or something atrocious to the palate.

But that’s not what I’m discussing today. Instead, I’m penning this piece about the other kind of chemistry — the relationship between people. In this context, chemistry is a simple emotion that two people get when they share a special (or not-so special!) connection. Good chemistry is when people meet and they just happen to ‘click’. And this can be instant.

Pause for a moment and ask yourself how many romcoms have you watched, or novels you’ve read, or any form of media you’ve consumed contain romantic undertones that use the chemistry trope to explain two people not ending up together, or otherwise.

Outside romantic themes, the best screenplays for action and thrills are the ones where its cast have chemistry. Having a good script is one thing, but in order to elevate the movie to another level, the actors need to have developed a kind of camaraderie and chemistry to really lift the entire experience for viewers, and make people emotionally invested into the story.

Even in video games, this type of chemistry exists. Have a gander at FIFA Ultimate Team and you’ll be met with mechanics that require you to build a squad based on chemistry; having the right players in the right formations and ensuring they have links either via nationality or clubs they play for are some of the factors that affect a team’s chemistry rating.

Coming to the PR industry, our work exposes us to all sorts of characters. Each of us have our own quirks and traits – personalities in other words. Sometimes, our personalities complement one another, which makes working alongside or liaising with them a breeze.

Then there are times where you just can’t seem to ‘click’ with the other person. You find it difficult to find any form of common ground to build a base relationship on. Your wavelengths are not harmonised and these people often leave you pondering to yourself: why? 

You wonder why they second guess your every suggestion. You question why they engaged in your PR services if they already had a preset notion in their mind. You wonder why there are multiple revisions only to end up to your original proposal, which you presented in the first place. Why are they acting like this? Why are they doing that? Why, just why? Perhaps, it is just that the initial chemistry is not right.

Chemistry right or otherwise, part and parcel of being in the line of public relations is being able to grit your teeth and putting your nose to the grind. Regardless of one’s disposition towards another person, ultimately it boils down to being professional enough to set your differences aside and getting the job done to the best of your capabilities.

Whether or not a job has been executed well would be discerned by its attendees, recipients and audience. They should be none the wiser to any rifts within the organising party. Being professional means being able to set aside any petty differences and coming to a middle ground for the best possible outcome. Egoism has to give way to altruism.

Perhaps after proving their capabilities and credentials with a job well done, the people involved can foster a better relationship with one another, and thus improve their chemistry.