Have you ever been home with the kids on a Saturday afternoon when you get an important work email to your iPhone? You proceed to answer it, solve the dilemma just as your 8 year old finishes telling you how he slayed the monster in his favourite computer game. He is waiting for your approval for something you didn’t hear. You catch on that he is finished. Give him some answer you think is appropriate and a smile or hug and keep on tapping away at the phone.
Is this scenario familiar in any way? Are there times you miss precious moments with loved ones because you are caught up in our fast world of constant bombardment from emails, texting and mobile phones? Seems that we are tweeting more, texting more, emailing more, chatting more but are we really listening to each other. Do we ever really just….talk?
The kids have their heads in the computer or TV or text each other crazily, dad texts the office while he talks to a cousin on Skype, mum is tapping away on Facebook and this is how some of us spend the weekend. What happened to quality time? To top it off lets all go to a movie so we can sit and watch other people talk for 2 hours. Then come out, have a quick coffee and back to the mobile and computer.
This is the lifestyle some of us seem to be living these days. When was the last time you went to dinner with your wife or husband and left the phones off? When was the last time you drove out to the mountains with the kids, no phones, no computers and no hand held games or radio? Just you guys?
What happened to the art of conversation?
Whilst these technological contraptions are essential for us to run our business world when do we take the time out to really know each other and our colleagues? What happened to the personal touch in customer service? And more importantly how does it make you feel? Who would you rather buy off – the guy who tells you your shipment is stuck amidst 300 on a carrier from USA and he can do nothing about it or the one that says they can’t have it to you today but remembers that your daughter Julie had a cold and asks how she is?
Some of us are losing our business manners. Whilst the business world is fast these days a good company will not just look for the quick dollar. It’s all about customer service. How often do we hear people complaining about poor quality service these days? Saying they feel like they are just another number. If your supplier or business associates make you feel this way maybe it’s time to take another look at who you do business with and what value you are getting for money.
Integrity is an important part of our business world and it is the companies that can boast of a good reputation which gets and keeps clients. Whilst it may be true that some unscrupulous companies can make the big dollars and people piggy back on what they do so they also can make dollars, in the long run it is the company that gives you a good deal yet remembers you as a person that probably sticks out in your memory the most.
We need to talk more in our business and private world to break through the invisible walls we have built around ourselves with our iPods and mobile phones. Our restaurant meals, cars, homes and even bathrooms are being invaded by these hand held devices which have led us into a world of impatience and fast paced lifestyle resulting in more stress and less time for ourselves.
The downside of this is that our human relationships are suffering and with it our fulfilment of some human yearnings for such things as conversation, warmth and good old fashioned company. We often miss out on the rewards of common courteousy, talking to each other face to face and having that sense of humanity that comes with interactive conversation.
Our changing methods of conversation and communication bring distractions by digital traffic and we sometimes forget how important it is to really listen. We miss out reading peoples body language, the intonation of the voice as to how someone is really responding. The problem is that whilst you are answering the text at the business meeting you are really not attending to either very well. This leaves you open to inefficient interaction.
So what to do? Instead of this juggling act make some space for personal interaction with the people that count be it family or business associates. Also make some time to answer those emails in a block so they take less time to answer and do the same with your phone and text messages. This keeps your energy focussed and allows you to actually get through them all much quicker. So it becomes a way of achieving more, gaining greater human interaction, becoming more productive and still having time for that extra cuppa before you run off to your next meeting or to work. You get to talk to the Mrs, interact with the kids better and still have your technological toys. Now that’s a win/win situation, isn’t it?