The technology that is constantly at our fingertips these days has provided some wonderful conveniences, both in the workplace and in our personal lives. If you forget to bring an important file from your New York office to a meeting in Los Angeles, someone back at home base can get that document to your computer in seconds. Distributors in Chicago can chat with potential clients in India or the Ukraine through a live video feed. When your first-born son enters the world, family members can see those precious newborn photos before the cord is even cut. But, like most things with an upside, there is the inevitable downside as well.
Marriages are now ending on social networking sites. High school teachers complain that their students no longer know how to spell or write complete sentences. And, sadly, it is much easier to forget common courtesies when engaged in communication with another person through an electronic device than when standing face-to-face or even talking over the phone. How do we embrace the benefits of technology without falling victim to the negative effects?
In my coaching, I stress the importance of engaging in regular, heartfelt communication with members of your team and others with whom you come into professional contact. Take the time to reinforce the values of your company, share some exciting news about an employee’s family, or let everyone know what your thoughts are about where you see the business in the next six months or five years. Keep people engaged and involved.
There is not one correct way to communicate with others–the method must fit the style and comfort level of the person sharing the message. Whether it be a phone call, an e-mail, or a newsletter, make your outreach sincere and personable. This simple human touch goes a long way in a world that is constantly connected in some ways, but suffering from increasing disconnect in others.