Monday, October 4, 2010

The Importance of In-Person...

As a professor, I get a large volume of email.  The email comes from students, co-workers and a plethora of other sources.  In reality, I could probably get rid of my office phone all together it rings so infrequently.   As for face-to-face meetings, that is even becoming less frequent as we have all become so 'busy.'

This new emphasis of communication has created a whole world of challenges for me as a professional.  Foremost, the nuance of language is being lost.  I do not know how many times I have received emails and misread the 'tone' of them.  People seem to forget that body language and tone of voice conveys a more precise message that should not be discounted.  More importantly, I think this change in communication styles affects relationships.  We very rarely get to know anyone anymore.  We know information about them through their Facebook status and Tweets but we learn little about their essence.  We do not get to learn about the context of their perspective from 120 characters or less.

In total, while I understand the irony in complaining about electronic correspondence on a blog, I also make it a point to talk in person to as many people as possible.  Perhaps, I am a dinosaur in this thinking but I firmly believe the relationship will always be a key ingredient to success.  As it becomes more of a lost art, those who can connect with others will be the ones most successful in life.


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