10 tips to help shake off counterproductive communication behaviors and get better results personally and professionally.
27 March 2014
You fiddle with your smartphone under the table during an important meeting.
You type an (error-ridden) e-mail to a client while talking (distractedly) on the phone.
You interrupt a sensitive discussion with your spouse to respond to a trivial text message.
You use a social media platform to reconnect with an old friend, only to offend the person with an ill-advised attempt at humor.
And, really, you’re not some clueless boor: Everyone you know operates this way. In our device-dominated world, it’s what passes for communication. Yes, at some point or another, we’ve all allowed quick and easy to replace meaningful and productive. But while shoddy communication is ubiquitous, it doesn’t have to be inevitable.
The very tools that enable us to maintain contact with people all over the world also distort our priorities, fragment our concentration, degrade our ability to listen, and scatter our attention. But like any other tool, our phones, computers, and tablets are inanimate objects.
They aren’t the problem. We are.
Although it’s true that it can be incredibly difficult to break free of the gravitational pull of distraction, expediency, self-expression, and excess that characterize so much digital-age communication, it’s also the best time in history to be a competent communicator. If you are willing to consciously strengthen your communication skills, you can leverage unprecedented opportunities to connect productively and meaningfully with other people.
Here are 10 tips to help shake off counterproductive communication behaviors and get better results personally and professionally.
As we move further into the digital age, let’s embrace new ways to connect while retaining the ability to communicate meaningfully and effectively with each other. Whether you are talking face-to-face with one individual or broadcasting to hundreds by e-mail or social media, thoughtful and deliberative communication skills will help make your interactions count.
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