Understanding Communication In A Fast Moving World

OMG, RU GOING CRAZY 🙂 = Oh My Goodness, Are You Going Crazy!
Can you read the above line?  If you can’t, it is because technological communication is rapidly changing into encrypted messages like this, which is an unfamiliar form of communication for you!  Emails, instant messaging, and text messaging are a few of the most common methods of communication these days and face-to-face communication is becoming outdated. While I can see many benefits these communication methods bring both to the social and professional world, my concerns about how it affects our conflict management and relationship building skills is growing nonetheless.

U Need Help = You Need Help
Business and technology, electronic business, fast pace business growthI have a small counseling practice on the side where I focus on helping teenagers navigate through life.  During the past few years, I’ve personally seen a rapid decline in many teenager’s everyday social skills.  Some of my observations include difficulties addressing conflict, smaller vocabulary, poor non-verbals communication, inability to express emotions through verbal means (outside of the Text Message Shorthand of sideways smiley or frowny faces), and an overall discomfort with spoken conversations.  I know what you’re thinking at this point – welcome to working with teenagers!  However, I truly believe that this is largely due to a decrease in experience with face-to-face communication, and solely relying on texting, emailing, and instant messaging, where the human interaction is removed.

YUPPIES = Young Urban Professionals
So, how does this affect our up and coming workforce?  While the future is looking bright and full of talented and capable young individuals, it is likely these young individuals will struggle with the basic and essential skill of relating and connecting with team members, leaders, subordinates, clients and customers, and vendors.  Some organizations may even be seeing the affects of texting and emailing in employees who are in their early twenties.

Getting the 411 Is ^ 2 U = Getting the Information is Up to You
So, what is the solution?  One immediate action we can all take is to preserve the art of face-to-face communication in our own realm.  Despite the ease of typing a quick instant message to the person in the cubicle behind you, make an effort to send and receive a more accurate and personal message by doing so face-to-face.  Take the opportunity to call that vendor and clarify exactly what your department needs, versus hoping it is understood through a series of emails.  When you are going to be late to your next meeting, send a quick text letting the administrative assistant know you won’t be on time, but then take the opportunity to apologize in person and use non-verbals to communicate your sincerity.

Another step companies can take to ensure their workforce is full of effective communicators is to increase opportunities for training and development in the area of communication.  Training on communication skills is a great opportunity for employees to practice and learn basic and advanced levels of communication.  Your employees will be more aligned when they communicate from learning the same concepts and skills taught by qualified facilitators who are trained in adult learning theories.

Help develop communication skills B4 its 2 L8!

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About the Author

Cherissa Newton