…Would you agree that online communications tools make our work more efficient? Some people are in serious doubt about that. But let’s assume that it is true. It is much quicker and – when done correctly – even more precise to send an email instead of having a conversation in person or over the phone. Beyond email, specialized online collaboration tools have profound advantages. They clearly have their mark in business communication.
However, relying completely on online communication is a dangerous mistake. Whether we want our co-workers to perform a certain task or a client to choose working with us – we need to build trustful relationships in order to get the job done. Only these relationships will be a high enough motivation in the long-term to achieve outstanding results. Sure, there are hierarchical structures that should legitimate a certain taks request. Also, a clear logic and rationale certainly help. But in the end, the relationship between the two parties makes the difference.
Online communication is inappropriate for building relationships. Everybody reads messages in their own head, adding the tonality and emotion to it on their own behalf. It does not matter how many emoticons we add – an online message will never reach a sufficient level of personal interaction that will build a trustful relationship. We need to interact with real persons in order to build a connection.
That having said, this is a plea for connecting with co-workers, suppliers and clients in person. Walking over to someones desk, taking the time to get somebody on the phone live, and even making a dedicated visit may take some extra effort. The difference is huge. In fact, relying solely on online communication will not work.
So, instead of sending the next email, walk over to the desk of your team member. It’s worth it and I personally think it is also more fun.
Wishing you a good social time
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