For those of us old enough to remember Bell’s campaign from the 1970s, “Reach out and touch someone,” it encouraged people to pick up the phone to talk with someone they care about.
Sadly, the art of telephone conversation is being lost in our fast-paced digital world. Admittedly, I am guilty of using the fastest, most efficient method of connecting with someone.
Just this week, I received this wonderful surprise package from a business colleague, containing materials for the new Connections Leadership training program. I defaulted to the norm, picked up my phone and “sent” a thank-you message instead of phoning to express my appreciation.
What’s even more humiliating, she picked up her phone and ‘called’ me after receiving my email.
This reminds me of a recent blog post by Mary Jane Copps, aka, The phone Lady, called, Use Your Voice.
“With your voice, you can communicate your energy, enthusiasm, and genuine interest in the person you are calling. You can begin the process of building a relationship.”
According to Albert Mehrabian’s Communication Model, the use of one’s voice, such as tone, intonation, and volume, is 38% of the way we communicate. So, if you want to give people a better understanding of what you really mean, and how you feel, having a telephone conversation conveys your message more effectively.
This takes me to my favourite communications quote by Simon Sinek:
“Communication is not about speaking what we think. Communication is about ensuring others hear what we mean.”
Building relationships is the premise for Avail’s existence… connecting people with productivity. Connecting with the human intangibles is what accelerates relationships. Genuine connections require an investment of time. And time is something we all value by replacing human interactions with human-to-machine interactions for task efficiency.
After two years of feeling isolated and disconnected from healthy human interactions, post-covid is an opportunity to bring renewed inspiration and regain some of the old-fashioned, more effective ways of engaging with shallow relationships caused by the increased use of technology.
Here are some fun thoughts on things we don’t do anymore. Your teenagers may shrug, but if you’re 20 years or older, you’ll probably smile with nostalgia.
Memorize a phone number
Pop quiz: How many phone numbers do you know by heart? Some people don’t even know their partner’s numbers. Before our smartphones automatically stored our friends’ contact information, we resorted to cocktail napkins to scrawl down numbers, for fear we wouldn’t find that listing in the phone book.
Use a phone book to find a company
Once upon a time, we felt perfectly comfortable flipping through the Yellow Pages and randomly calling a plumbing company to fix our pipes. Maybe we’d consult friends for a recommendation, but we often relied on trial-and-error. Now you can quickly read reviews of a local business, and if you like what you read, you can tap their number and automatically dial.
Figure out the math in your head
Calculators have been around for a long time now, but few of us ever carried calculators with us to the grocery store. In contrast, pretty much everyone with a smartphone has it available to do double-digit multiplication, no matter where or when we need it.
Tell time by hands on a clock
Like cursive writing, analog clocks are teetering on extinction. Few people with smartphones bother with watches anymore unless they’re fashion statements or fitness trackers. Even your trusted alarm clock has received a tech makeover. Three apps that monitor your sleep cycle and wake you up when you’ll feel the most rested.
Run to the store for a last-minute gift
Curses! You forgot a Mother’s Day gift! Should you change your whole schedule so you can rush to the store and hurriedly pick something out? If you have Amazon Prime and live in an Amazon hub, there’s no need. You can order same-day delivery and have that gift couriered to your front door.
Cut things out of the newspaper
Many grandparents still love to buy newspapers, and when they find an article they like, they snip it out, put it in an envelope, and send that little slip of newsprint to a relative. “Thought you might find this interesting!” reads an accompanying note. But most of us don’t waste our time. Nearly every article in every major newspaper is archived online and can be instantly shared by email, social media, and even text message.
Look up the spelling of words in the dictionary
Spellcheck is nearly as old as word processors, and many of us have grown up expecting Microsoft Word to underline our mistakes in red squiggles. But autocorrect takes this concept a step further, guessing what we intended to write and correcting our mistakes. This can be handy for clumsy thumbs, but it can be embarrassing when autocorrect guesses are wrong.
What other tech revolutions are changing your daily life?