Fear of Real Communication

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By: Michelle Delbo, Director at Blackstone Staffing Services

What is the most effective way communicating with one another? In today’s world, it’s texting, Snap-chatting, social media, emails or simply not responding. Technology has brought amazing positive changes in communication, however, it’s also taught us to stop verbally communicating. It’s challenging trying to prove that having a conversation is truly the best way to deliver any message, good or bad. Especially with the ease and efficiency of how many people you can talk to with all the avenues we have at our fingertips (literally). I recently had a conversation (aka via text) with a girl I was trying to give directions too. I asked if I could call her and she said, “text is better for me.” However, I insisted, and once we spoke, she said she was so glad I called as she would have never inferred the message I was trying to convey from the information I sent via text. Why are people so uncomfortable having a verbal conversation?

Questions to ponder:
1. When is the last time someone has asked to discuss a difficult situation face to face?
2. When is the last time you picked up a call you didn’t recognize the number?
3. When is the last time you knew the person calling, but didn’t pick up because you didn’t want to talk?
4. You are sick on a work day, did you call your boss or send a blanket email to the team instead?
5. If you quit your job, did you go in and talk to your boss or did you send an email with a resignation letter?
6. Even worse, did you quit over text?
7. If you couldn’t make your job interview, did you call? Or did you send a text or email to avoid questions?
8. Have you changed your mind about a commitment and instead of calling to tell the person you just didn’t show up?
9. When you have a difficult question, do you verbally ask the person or do you text the person because you don’t want to ask in person for fear of the answer?
10. When you interview a candidate and their not the right fit, do you respond at all? Or avoid a conversation. .
11. When you’ve selected a vendor for a project, do you notify the rest of the vendors or just avoid their calls.
12. When was the last time your text or email was misunderstood? Yet no one wanted to call to clarify?

All of us will have different answers to these questions but none the less, I hope the next time you are faced with a tough conversation you lead the way by example. Don’t hide behind technology. Conversation and Communication are vital to any relationship and can be very powerful when used correctly!

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