Hello, is anyone there?
Lately, I have heard from colleagues around the world, that a common theme missing in professional and personal interaction is the lack of real, productive, authentic and genuine communication. Yes, you read that correctly.
Let’s back up to the introduction of email messaging. Remember when we thought it was such a novelty? When emailing came on the scene, during the 90’s at the Florida Lottery, I was a press secretary for Rebecca Paul. I was then thrilled at this amazing technology.
We could now do e-blasts of press releases to the media and communicate via email to people on an international level in an efficient way. There were so many advantages to sending out messaging to a large group of people for which I did not to have call individually. Whew! But, on second thought, I did have to answer the phone when they called me with questions. That was fun though!
Next, we can recall when text messaging was developed and introduced to the public at large and then in professional communication. Now, it’s such a common form of communication to the masses, the President of the United States utilizes it frequently without having to engage with the general public.
Study upon study provides us the research that screen time is detrimental to our kids health, to our health and now they say blue light increases sugar consumption! What?! So, for example, if you are on your computer at night and the screen is lit with no other lighting in the room, the blue light from the screen is detrimental to your health. Yep!
A very interesting article that I read recently in “The Balance Blog,” is about the top ten communication skills to cultivate. I happen to agree with this list.
Clarity and Concision
Choosing the Right Medium
Obviously, we understand why sending an email cannot possibly demonstrate the benefits of listening, and many other passive communication items listed here. Do you feel that something is missing now, maybe in our feeling of accomplishment and achieving a feeling of purpose in the workplace? Doesn’t talking to each other by giving compliments on a job well done help everyone feel good? I think we can agree on this aspect of a lack of communication. Not to mention, within families and interpersonal relationships. Some people don’t talk on the phone anymore. Period. That is sad and it emphasizes the distance we now cultivate within our relationships. We can say anything we want by texting or emailing without a certain accountability. Especially on social media. Without having to look at the face of the person we are railing against, we can say whatever we want, right?
Finally, how about the amount of time it takes to go back and forth via emails to answer questions and discuss complicated topics? Oh my gosh! Just call me please?! It takes a minute to leave a message. And it may take a few minutes to actually talk to someone on the phone in order to clear up a confusion around …. guess what—an email. Even interviews are done in writing now. Not that it’s horrible, but where is the energy there? The shared energy and synchronicities are non-existent in a written Q and A.
I often used to visit the same village in the Luberon in South of France. A portion of my day as well as that of the local residents, was spent on visiting. Simply discussing the weather, the best meat at le boucher, the cheese at the épicerie, and so on. Not a lot of time but enough of a friendly respite, in being present. Listening, caring, and exchanging ideas and so on. It is common in many European cities and villages, especially small ones.
The days of calling each other have dwindled and it’s clearly not contributing to feelings of positivity, friendliness, clarity and conciseness.
I’d love to see a show of hands for those who feel the same way. In fact, my new book will focus on communication and the fear of interaction we exhibit now. It will focus on other ideas as well, but lets face it. We need to get back to visiting each other and spending time in conversation. Even at work. Talk to your friends, to your colleagues, to the mailman or woman, and ask them what they think. Conduct an informal study and see what your results turn out to be. Then share —-please! Exciting things happen when people talk to each other.
Oh yes and give me call…