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Thoughts on Organizational Communications

I'm always interested in hearing different perspectives about having a dialogue with stakeholders and prospects. That is why when I saw the new article in the Harvard Business Review out by Stewart Friedman, a practice professor of management at the Wharton School, it caught my attention.

In his story, Professor Friedman surveys the different mediums by which to connect with parties in today's world. He states that there are 17 channels of communication including face-to-face verbal, face-to-face non verbal, phone, email, snail mail, text, video messaging, blogs, podcasts, online forums, online social gaming, among others. His story got me thinking about how we spend our lives communicating. Below are a few thoughts.

When email first became prevalent, we used to step back and think about the ramifications of sending an "impersonal" letter rather than going to see someone in person or at least picking up the phone to communicate and have "human contact." With years of experience using new communication technology, it's essential that we do not leave behind this sensitivity and forget about the human nature aspect. Employees shouldn't be hired or fired via email. As Professor Friedman points out, the "social and psychological principles and methods" used are powerful yet difficult at times on which method to choose.

These modern tools are highly efficient but guess what else is? Well, the age-old art of shutting it all down and sitting at your desk to think provides efficiently as well. It is essential that we not get so bogged down with these modes of communication that we merely become "calculators" rather than "mini mathematicians." Using the pad and pen and scratching out long division at times is the best remedy for improving our efficiently in life and business.

If you find yourself clicking your receive button for incoming email or peeking at your Blackberry while talking with your spouse, well, it's time to step back and think again.


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