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By Richard Brody
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Communication Skills Workshop training materials to teach interpersonal communication
In our ever more technology dependent society, many in positions of leadership have proceeded to rely more and more on these devices and systems. While technology, when used properly and effectively, can often be a leader’s friend and helper, it is important for those in leadership to realize and understand that leaders must always maintain that personal touch and personal connection. Having consulted to, trained, and developed over a thousand leaders during my over thirty years in this field, it has become increasingly frustrated to witness so many in leadership who seem to get so involved in bringing their organizations into the twenty – first century, that they over – focus on the devices, and lose sight of who they represent. For this reason, until one develops a people – first attitude, they cannot become a truly effective and meaningful leader.
1. What ever happened to a leader picking up a telephone and reaching out to a member, donor, or supporter, and having a one – to – one discussion? Is it because it easier to text or send an email than it is to pick up the phone? While some seem to think it is quicker or more effective, the reality is that without the give and take that oral communication permits, getting answers and satisfying needs often takes far longer. In addition, the chances of miscommunication have and remain greater in any form of written communication that in oral communication. Then, why do we keep seeing those in leadership avoiding oral contact? My theory and belief is that is more about attitude and comfort zone than it is about effectiveness or efficiency. Sometimes it’s remarkable how often someone who is an oral coward becomes so much braver the more impersonal the methodology used. It is also a matter of leadership laziness, because too many in these positions seem unwilling to fully immerse themselves or exhibit the commitment that is so necessary.
2. Why does it seem like there is far more talking at others that speaking to or with someone? Why do so few in leadership seem to understand that social media is not the end – all and be – all, and is certainly not the total solution to all their communication needs? While using texts and email, Blogs, and social media are certainly necessary tools in an effective leader’s arsenal, they do not replace telephone or face – to – face communication. Why not also use some sort of video conferencing or calling so that there still is interaction and discussion?
Leaders must welcome and effectively use the best and most meaningful technology available. They must understand the strengths, weaknesses, uses and limitations of whatever they use. But, they cannot and must never believe that simply because you have a Website, use social media, email and texts, that it is effectively communicating. Great leaders take advantage of the advantages of technology, while maintaining and emphasizing the personal touch!
Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years. Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website http://plan2lead.net and Plan2lead can also be followed on Facebook http://facebook.com/Plan2lead