Article first published as The Fall of the Call on Technorati.
Remember writing letters? Sometime around the invention of email, letter writing became obsolete. I mean, why pick up the phone when a quick email or text will do the trick? The increased productivity may come at a price though if connectivity is sacrificed.
Communication skills greatly impact the quality of our relationships, and since we receive all our opportunities through other people, it’s vital that the skills needed to communicate effectively are taught and practiced. As technology evolves we’re challenged to keep in mind that, as we advance in our ability to connect to more people, two essential elements of connection are still required.
- We need to understand the meaning of the incoming messages.
- We need to know that our messages are being understood by others.
21 Century Connection
How we do this in the 21 century will undoubtedly bear little resemblance to grandma’s letter or your mother’s phone call. Knowing this frees us from expecting the same kind of rapport in the virtual environment while it challenges us to find ways to personally connect through the texted message. One place to start is by creating caring conversations.
Four Steps to Replace Confusion with Clarity
- Review Confusion – Look over the recent text conversations in which there was a degree of confusion—yours or the other person’s.
- Recognize Patterns – Notice repeating topics, time of day, day of the week, and so on.
- Revise a Pattern – Pick one pattern and consciously change something about it.
- Experiment – Observe the difference in connectivity as you eliminate elements of confusion.
Texting is often portrayed the “bad guy” threatening to separate us from our kids or leave them without the people skills they will need to make it in this world as adults. I’m not buying that though. I believe that regardless the medium of communication, a caring and authentic voice can be recognized.
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