One-on-one communication is on life support…
We have reached to age where we will e-mail or text someone who is just a few feet away. We avoid the phone call because it takes longer than a quick text. Skip the pleasantries. Get to the point. Get your answer. Move on the next issue. Right?
This is certainly great for efficiency. You can get more done if you can quickly get the information that you need and move on.
Yes, I am guilty. My phone message suggests you e-mail me as I am often on the road or in meetings and can’t take calls. The phone conversation takes a commitment to set aside some time to chat. Some time to catch up. Some time to see how someone is doing.
We are so programmed for efficiency and our workloads have increased to a point that the conversation comes at a cost. You will loose some time connecting with others. You may not get as much accomplished if you take the personal route. You may have to work harder to accomplish things if you choose to be personal instead of impersonal. Communicating personally is a choice. You can choose to pick up the phone or walk to their office and get your answers along with an update of how they are doing or what’s going on in their lives.
Building Community Takes Work
In order to build community you have to communicate one-on-one. You have to engage others. You have to share and be vulnerable. You have to be real. This doesn’t just happen. It takes work. You have to be intentional. Here are some ways to help develop stronger community:
Be Available. In order to connect with someone you must be available. Leave your door open. Make it easy to find you. Answer your phone. Be available for meetings or questions. This seems simple yet our fast paced work can make this simple thing quite difficult.
Ask Questions. Show interest in others. Find out interests, hobbies, passions, and gifts. At the appropriate time, ask deep questions. Find out their story and the issues that they are struggling with. Share things that you have in common or your struggles. Forget what you need. Get to what they need.
Be authentic. Let them see who you really are. Don’t try to impress or be cool or be the know it all. Don’t spend your life as an actor. You can’t connect with a phony. You’ll be connecting with air.
Take the time. You won’t connect with the folks around you until you commit to putting down the work and make the effort to make the connection. Don’t make excuses. If you are introverted, it will take effort to do this. Yet, you must make the effort and spend your valuable time connecting with others. You have no excuse.
Building community takes effort and a commitment. If you are in a leadership role, you must model this for others to see. You must schedule opportunities to connect. You must make it mandatory to do things in a personal way. It won’t happen unless you make it happen. We are social beings. We need community. Make the effort. You will be glad you did!
So what do you think? Have we reached a tipping point in communication? Do you see the connection in personal communication and community? Click on “Leave and Comment” and tell me what you think!