It happened to me… The other day I was sitting in the living room of my home with my family surrounded by communication; but not between any of us.
I sat there in disbelief as my wife was on her smartphone browsing Facebook, my 20-year-old daughter on her phone texting who knows who, my 17 year old son tweeting on twitter and my three youngest boys (14, 11, and 9) on the family kindle looking up over-paid NBA basketball players and teams. I sat there as the only one not engaged in technology with no one to talk to.
It was an odd feeling, a bit crazy and not acceptable. I stopped everyone and asked them to look at us as a family. By the expression on their faces I could tell they didn’t find anything odd about it. The only thing they found odd was that I would have them pause and reflect on their state at the moment.
It made me stop and think about how technology could be damaging our relationships, not just at home, but everywhere else as well. The video at the end of this post highlights that in a powerful way.
Leaders, are you losing your personal touch? Whether in home, work or other capacities as a leader, are you losing touch personally?
Let’s start with recognition. Are you more inclined to send an email to recognize someone’s hard work? Or do you get more personal by picking up the phone or telling them face to face?
What about demotions or layoffs? Who would ever be less personal when it comes to demotions or layoffs? You might be surprised. I once saw a CEO of a fairly large company send a letter to a business head informing this senior manager that they were being demoted and detailing the reasons why!
Sure email is fast, global and allows you to put all your thoughts on paper before hitting send, but it is also very non-personal. Sure texting is quick and can be done from anywhere at any time, but is is also very non-personal.
Leaders have to be personal. Research shows that non-verbal communication is anywhere between 50 – 93% of our communication. Leadership and charisma can’t be felt without face to face interaction. And communication can be lost without more personal interactions.
A CIO article titled “The Importance of Face-t0-Face Communication at Work” talked about a global survey that showed 67 percent of senior executives and managers say their organization would be more productive if their leaders communicated more often via personal communication.
So, put down the smartphones leaders, get off the email for a bit and reach out and connect with those you lead. Your most important tool as a leader is your relationships. Get off the technology and go out and build them.
If you haven’t seen the following video, it is powerful and true. Take it to heart leaders wherever you may be serving.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to share it with your team, colleagues or anyone else, please “Share” it, “Tweet” it, “LinkedIn” it, “Email” it, “Google Plus” it, or “Like” it, by using one of the buttons below. Thanks friends!