Why Do We Hide Behind Technology?

This weekend, I sat down with a great group of young leaders to discuss the topic of business communication.  Business communication includes modes like email, IM, text, video, Skype, social media, written letters, and the telephone.  That was the order given when I asked for some examples.  Can you guess what method didn’t come up?  I’ll give you a hint: You use this method of communication every day and it’s what you might call the “original”.  Got it now?  Face to face!!  I thought this was an excellent opportunity to share with you the benefits of face to face communication.

Why it’s good:

  • Humor and tonality aren’t being perceived incorrectly.
  • Nonverbal communication can be seen and understood better.
  • Typically, you can get a quicker response, helping you with what you need.
  • Face to face communication can help build trust with your colleagues, putting a real face with your name.

Why we’re scared to use it:

  • There’s no paper trail.
  • You can’t hide like you can in email, text, IM, etc.
  • It takes confidence and guts – sometimes we don’t feel we have it in us.
  • We have to speak in complete sentences, leaving out emoticons and jargon like “LOL”.
  • It’s tougher to state clear objectives in person vs. via email (think bullet points, request for follow up, etc.)

Face to face communication doesn’t have to be scary.  Take some time every day to get out of your cubicle or office and make an effort to be part of the conversation.  I’m not saying that you have to be best buddies, but a person should be able to communicate effectively on the job and in the job search.  The next time you sit down to type out that long email, ask yourself this question: “Can I get the answer by asking in person or calling?”

Job seekers:  This applies to you as well.  Don’t hide behind email.  Pick up the phone and call to inquire about your application.  Be friendly; persistent, but kind.  Recruiters get hundreds, thousands of emails a day.  Stand out.  Call them (only if the job posting doesn’t say “no calls, please”).  If they don’t pick up, be sure leave a short, concise message.  They have caller-ID.  They know you called, so make the most of it!

What are your tips for communication?  Anything I missed?  Please leave a comment below!  Want to share this with your friends or colleagues?  Pay it forward and send it their way!  As always, thanks for reading.


3 thoughts on “Why Do We Hide Behind Technology?

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