The New York Times recently did some anecdotal research on feeling awkward with talking to friends, in person, to resolve differences. Of course, these social habits are likely to rub off into the work place, and may affect your employees and therefore your business. Do you see a problem with your employees not being able to resolve differences in person? A lot of problems can arise in business from not being able to negotiate a problem, which is a critical social competent skill, as well as a vital business skill. The reliance on the Internet and cell phones have made it easier for people to avoid situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
Is technology hindering our face-to-face ability to communicate? Although the ability to text and e-mail is terribly convenient in a world where time is so vital, is it allowing people to avoid conflict? Although these technological mediums are important, we need to remember how important it is to use face-to-face contact. It is important to have this face-to-face to reduce ambiguity and clearly be able to work through situations that inevitably will arise.
As the younger “texting” generation becomes more integrated into the work place, a greater need to focus on face-to-face communication will become vital. The ability to negotiate problems and handle situations up front and strategically will be critical for the success of your business.