Technology is an amazing tool, especially when it comes to communication. It can make us faster, more accurate, and more efficient.
We’ve happily replaced phone calls with emails and emails with texts. And in-person meetings? Forget about it! A quick conference call, webinar, or online chat is just as effective.
Or is it?
The other face time
Regardless of what business you’re in, the relationships you have with your employees and customers are critical to your success. But no matter how great your writing skills are, no text or email will ever connect with someone like you can— live and in person.
Of course, no one is suggesting you throw your devices out the window, but be honest with yourself: Are you so focused on technology-driven efficiency that you’re missing out on opportunities to personally interact with your staff and clients?
Maybe you’re relying on technology to do the heavy lifting when tough issues are involved. Yes, sending a well-crafted email to handle a delicate situation may be a good enough solution. But having a face to face conversation with someone when there are real problems to discuss? Now that’s an opportunity!
So, how can you tell if you are using technology as a security blanket? If the thought of making that phone call or having that face-to-face meeting gives you a sick feeling in your stomach, that’s a pretty clear sign. And that’s exactly when you need to pick up the phone or get in the car.
There are times when putting the right words in a letter, e-mail or text will work perfectly fine, but there are also times when you should really go old-school. Talk in person. Ask for a meeting. Be empathetic. Show that you care.
At the end of the day, your clients won’t remember all of those carefully crafted emails you sent, but they will definitely remember how you made them feel.
Sometimes you have to unplug to connect
Ever had your Internet go down at work? At first, people get flustered. Frustrated. Uncomfortable. Everyone looks around awkwardly. What on earth are we supposed to do now?
And then they start to talk. Make jokes. Maybe go for coffee. Talk about Game of Thrones. This is the stuff relationships are made of. You couldn’t pay someone to come up with a better team building exercise.
Should you use all of the technology available to you at your job? Yes! By all means. But you should also commit to connecting on a more personal level with one client or coworker at least once a week. Heck, once a day if you’re game! You may be surprised at where it takes you. And all without a GPS signal.
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