It’s hard to believe how much technology has changed since the first iPhone was announced more than a decade ago. It’s also hard to believe how much technology has changed us in twelve years!
Most of us can’t imagine leaving the house without our smartphone, even if it’s a simple trip to the grocery store. We now have to monitor our kids to make sure they’re not getting too much screen time – including my own teenage daughters! And now we can conduct business faster and more efficiently from almost any location.
But sometimes we can misuse technology. So here are a few questions to consider to make sure you’re using technology to help you, not hurt you.
Can you walk to the person you’re about to email or call? If the answer is yes, then get out of your seat. Of course sometimes a quick email or call can help speedily answer a yes or no question, but if your email is lengthy and in-depth, a face-to-face conversation will allow you to explain the nuances that an email can’t.
Is it helping your connection with someone? If you’re trying to impress someone, would you take them to a ballgame and sit on the front row together to enjoy a mutual experience, or would you text them and tell them what channel the game is on? As ridiculous as that sounds, that’s the difference between communicating and connecting in person, and sending an email or text. If you have the opportunity to deepen your connection in-person, seize the moment.
Would you say the same thing under your name or only anonymously? A couple years ago Kevin Durant’s tweets under a ghost account blasted both his ex-coach and teammates. Durant was formerly with the Oklahoma Thunder and he used to use Twitter to engage with fans. Under his ghost account, however, he was much more brutal and honest about moving teams. Later he apologized for “taking it too far” with his comments, but this is a perfect example of using social media as a shield. Ultimately, it’s just like mom said, if you’re not going to say anything nice, don’t say anything.
WWSJD? (What would Steve Jobs do?) Though he is responsible for so much of the technology we enjoy today, Steve Jobs went to great lengths to explain why he believes face-to-face communication is so powerful. He said, “Creativity comes through spontaneous meetings and random discussions. You can’t get that over email or iChat.” When Jobs was at Pixar, he created the office so people had to walk by each other and they had to see each other. He believed that was one of the cornerstones of his success. Ask yourself, WWSJD do: call, text, email, or meet in person? If the guy who invented the iPhone would opt for face-to-face communciation, you should consider that option, too.
Your Game Changer Takeaway
93% of communication isn’t what you say, but how you say it. Use your phone or computer to help you work smarter. But remember, when it’s in person or live, your communication will always be more genuine and authentic. Use these four questions to steer you onto a path of deeper connections and better relationships.
The Molly Fletcher Company inspires leaders, teams and organizations to kick-start growth. A keynote speaker and author, Molly draws on her decades of experiences working as a sports agent. Her company’s Game Changer Negotiation Training workshops teach business people the framework for successful negotiating, so that you can close more deals while building stronger relationships. Sign up here to receive our weekly newsletter and subscribe to the Game Changers with Molly Fletcher podcast on iTunes.