In today's fast-paced, instant communication society, do you take time really show others you are genuinely interested and care for them? Or do you stay focused on yourself?
Do you actually read the emails or text messages so you can provide timely responses showing comprehension and thoughtfulness? Or are you rushed and rapidly read through communications providing inaccurate, carelessly thought out responses?
While technology connects us in so many wonderful ways, it also unintentionally creates disconnects. Instant communication provides the opportunity for us to rapidly achieve significant amounts of work with colleagues and friends around the globe. Therein, lies the problem.
Rapid communication through technology causes us to scan content, glance at emails and texts, and respond (or not) in ways that make us appear impersonal, abrupt and potentially rude. The large volume of online communications also causes unintentional delays in responses as we seek out the "fire" that needs to be put out first.
For example, a pro bono project I worked on required a significant amount of planning through conversations and emails. The young team tapped my expertise to provide insights and guidance on achieving their goals in the business world.
When I consistently received responses that did not answer the questions I asked, I realized my communications were not being read. It was obvious they were rapidly reviewing, scanning and missing key points.
This revelation resulted in me picking up the phone to clarify email communications. This impromptu call took additional time that could have easily been avoided if the team genuinely read the emails so they could thoughtfully respond.
But let's face it. We're all guilty of playing the "fire, ready, aim game." Our inboxes and text messages get crammed full quickly. Information overload causes us to pick the time-sensitive, "important" and easy ones to respond to first. We rapidly scan things and prioritize based upon our self-imposed classifications. We put things off and think we'll come back to address them later, and sometimes never do.
In turn, we run the risk of making others feel unimportant and unappreciated.
As humans, our goal should be to make every person we interact with via email, text, phone or in-person feel valuable. But with communications that happen at the speed of light, how can we do this effectively? Here are a few quick tips:
Better yet - pick up the phone or go to meet with someone face to face and have a live communication. Let others feel like they really matter to you.
In life and in business, relationships matter. The way you interact and respond to people sends a message without you saying a word.
So let me ask you, what kind of message are you subliminally sending to others? Do people feel valued? Or like you're just rapidly checking a box before moving onto the next thing?
Want to improve your communications? Let's chat about how to incorporate relationship marketing in all you do.