I’ve been thinking about communication a lot lately, particularly how we communicate with one another in today’s technologically advanced society. So it struck a chord today in Dr. Raffle’s Qualitative Research Methods when communication was brought up in class discussion. While talking about a supplemental book we are reading for class and how dating has changed across generations, how we communicate was brought up as part of this discussion.
Our generation often lacks face-to-face communication. Even I’ve been guilty of emailing my supervisor from down the hall when I’m at work. What happened to making a phone call instead of sending an email? Or meeting someone for coffee to go over work instead of Skype or video conferencing? When you are able to meet with someone, it’s much easier to build relationships and establish a report.
For those of us looking for jobs or internships, or just looking to network with industry professionals, it pays to meet in person. After an interview, networking event or anything you would send a follow-up thanks, send a hand written thank-you note. It may sound monotonous but trust me the extra time goes a long way and gets noticed.
Another opportunity for more personal communication that often gets swept under the rug is the phone call. How many times have you text messaged, Tweeted or written on a good friend or family member’s Facebook wall for their birthday instead of picking up the phone and calling? Trust me when I tell you that a phone call goes a long way and means a lot.
My last piece of advice goes out to social networking. Stop having conversations via your social networks that should really be done via personal communication like text messaging or a phone call. This is not only annoying to those who follow you, but it also shows employers that you don’t know how to manage social media sites.
I challenge you this week to assess how you communicate with those close to you and your professional networks, and to improve how you communicate!