What do you consider the most effective way of communicating? Like most of my executive coaching clients, you are probably buried by email since it is often our primary method of conveying information.
Many of my clients have been telling me recently that their colleagues want them to reach out for face-to-face communication more often. Building relationships is much easier when we go to someone’s office or connect via Skype or videoconference. Reading body language and facial expressions helps us understand what isn’t being said better than emoticons ever will.
Value of Small Talk
While texting, instant messaging and other forms of communicating via technology are useful, even a phone call can go a long way toward creating a personal connection. I know it sounds old school, but Facebook can’t take the place of hearing someone’s voice. The tone of the typical “I’m fine” answer to “How are you?” can tell a lot about whether we need to accept that at face value or ask, “How are you really?”
Impact on Leadership
One thing I often hear when conducting 360 feedback interviews is that people appreciate a leader who cares about them. They want someone to ask them questions and then really listen to the answers. They want the kind of relationship that doesn’t exist only in cyberspace.
I encourage you to ask your colleagues how you could be a more effective communicator. If they want to see more of you, that’s a good thing!