Recently on a morning show on TV the commentator brought up the dangers of texting and driving and mentioned that he often tells his children to go have real, face-to-face conversations. That advice is good for leaders as well.
In this day and age of email, text messaging, Facebook and other social media, we rely more and more heavily on electronic communication. While some of it is very convenient, the ability to communicate effectively and create a social connection is still best by phone, or preferably face to face.
Time pressures often drive executives and managers toward the quick solution of sending an email or text, rather than seeking out the other person for a real conversation. Conversations can be very powerful in revealing the real situation and emotion, which are often lost in electronic messages. Just the act of going to visit a person or place can be very revealing; in my work, I find that if I go and watch the point of work, all kinds of things begin to emerge. Talking to people at the point of work can be especially revealing.
My mentor, Alan Weiss, says that the beginning of any successful business interaction is based on trust and relationship, which are more difficult to develop electronically. Developing and strengthening the relationship with employees and managers is far more effective with face-to-face communication. Get up and go see people to firmly establish relationship and trust. You may also learn things you never expected.
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