Don’t let technology create a barrier.

We all know how helpful technology is to our day-to-day life.  We are able to shoot out texts, instagrams, tweets and e-mails in mere seconds; have quick exchanges with colleagues and loved ones, then move on to the next thing.  When we are without our mobile devices, we feel like we have lost a limb.  Our lifeline is gone.

As much as technology can keep us connected 24/7, it can also disconnect and isolate us in significant and damaging ways.  Leaders often think that a quick text exchange is sufficient communication to manage their employees, some eliminating their regular face-to-face meetings or concalls in lieu of electronic media.  Others believe they can engage in critical interactions such as performance reviews via e-mail. 

The speed and ease of use of electronic media can seduce you into thinking it is an adequate (or even preferable) substitute for real, authentic communication.  Remember that vast majority of communication is nonverbal.  You can lose a lot of meaning, and misread your relationships, if you rely solely on brief texts and e-mails.

Further, there is increasing evidence that those who use electronic media as their predominant form of communication are less comfortable and skilled at having actual conversations.  As a leader and mentor of others (and for us parents!), remember that part of developing your people includes ensuring that they are proficient in all forms of interpersonal communication!