Getting to Important Workplace Communication in a Digital World
Why Is Good Communication So Hard?
If you believe what people are saying, we’re all starting to get worse at communication because we rely so much on digital tools. Supposedly, spelling and sentence-construction skills are going down the drain as texting becomes more popular, good arguments are the casualty of instant messaging, and overall people skills have been assaulted by our reliance on email. While there may be some truth to these claims, businesses still need these forms of digital communications. They have made communications and transactions easier, and it would cost a lot of time and money to do without them. At the same time, business leaders and employees need the people skills that digital interactions just can’t give you. How are you to negotiate between digital and face-to-face interactions in workplace communication?
If you think of digital communication as a tool to be used judiciously, you can still have the nuanced face-to-face conversations you need to be able to achieve innovation in your business. When email becomes a tool to accomplish lower-level interactions, you can spend more time thinking—and talking—about the important parts of your business. It’s near impossible to be able to work out the details of a new product strictly over email, and if you somehow manage to do it, you’ve probably wasted a lot of time trying to iron out all the possible miscommunications that happen in email and other digital mediums.
The next time you think about shooting off an email, stop to ask yourself whether you’re actually going to save time by doing this task through digital communications. It’s possible that you’ve been using email for so long that it’s just second nature to you to solve every problem that way. However, if you really value innovation and complex communication, you’ll find that face-to-face communication will really grow your company.
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