Sunday, November 21, 2010

Let's not Forget to Talk to Each Other

We ran into friends after a movie last night and sat down for a cup of coffee. I hike with the husband, but hadn't met his wife (I'll call her Brenda) and just learned what she does: she helps people figure out the best elder care solutions for their family members. Because Brenda has such a personal profession, she mentioned that she finds it's VERY important to talk with her clients, rather than just email.

This was a great reminder. Brenda mentioned that phone and in-person conversations are so important because she gets so much out of the nuance of people's voices and even how they phrase questions and answers. This gives her a far better opportunity to truly provide the best counsel.

This is a great reminder. Because working in technology, we all know that it's very easy to communicate electronically with short phrases to get a lot of our day to day work done. There's no question that this is a great enhancement in efficiency. But, sometimes, how much is lost in translation?

This reminder is particularly important when building a communications strategy. We need to know how to use all of these instant, quick communications tools/media; And we need to know how to emulate the nuances of emotion and intent through these instant approaches -- that is, how do you get nuance and emotion into 140 characters? That's a fun puzzle, which we find very interesting to try to solve.

At the same time, we encourage clients to remember to find ways to communicate verbally where possible. In-person and on the phone communications are more time-consuming, but they might can work wonders to cement a relationship or impart the essence of what you are trying to communicate.

And by the way, in today's world in which there are so many new ways to communicate instantly, there are also lots of new ways to ensure that we are able to talk to each other.

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