The Age of Technology seems to be creating more introverts than ever. Although not true in every workplace, introverts in most work environments used to be the minority. Now that’s changed. Our electronic devices are pulling us inward. We all have phones but rarely use them to make a call. The idea of talking to someone directly or via a device is not the preferred method to communicate. We text, text and text. Well, sometimes we Skype, but mostly we communicate with abbreviated text, often incognito, in the freedom of the internet world.
At work, more people are sitting in the shadows these days, hiding behind a computer screen, locked on to hard-fast rules, knowing only one answer to a problem. It is comfortable to stay invisible. We all know that the world of work may appreciate that some people have to turn in work without communicating; however, few would deny that most of our business and community leaders are high achievers in part because they are good or great communicators. These leaders know the value of face-to-face communication and have the confidence to use it.
Most of us feel we are connected, but we aren’t really. What we may have gained in our reach for knowing the world, we’ve lost in knowing ourselves, in our personal connectivity. So many things we do in person, we leave to an abbreviated script. It allows us to maintain aloofness, disguise our intentions, and forsake our fellow humans because it’s easier to be shy. Or, distant. Or, above the fray.
As if it all didn’t matter–it being not IT, but interpersonal communication. Pun intended.
Naturally, good communication is important in work, play and home. So, why then is it pushed aside for efficiency? It is, and you know it. You’ve experienced it. You know how bad it feels when someone sends a text or email and you think they should have called or spoke in person. The rules have changed and there are probably only a few handbooks on what is appropriate now.
It’s not just about appropriateness. We need to communicate honestly with spoken words.
Since this blog is about training… How do we inspire people who don’t see the need for soft skills acquire them? It’s a tough call. Check out my next blog. Better yet, offer some answers yourself.
I’ve written on communication skills for trainers on occasion, but this is–a rather unusual piece of writing addressed to “students” to help them understand the connection among us and the significance of communication to their world of work.
Before I was a trainer, I was a teacher. Now that I have somewhat retired… No one who really loves their work really retires… I am teaching again–this time teaching English, Critical Thinking and especially Public Speaking at a proprietary college, where no one majors in these subjects and, for the most part, find them redundant if not totally unnecessary. “Public speaking” is code for communication plain and simple.
Today’s reality is not so stark, yet employers are concerned that workers have problems interacting and problem solving. The idea of selling oneself is almost a thing of a past–or at least in eyes of job-seekers. Mostly, they want their résumés to do the talking when good communication skills are what the job interviews and the jobs really calls for.