After a post I wrote last week about burn out, I was gifted some wonderful comments. They were not comments one might easily publish since, at the end of the day, they represent some of our deepest fears, issues and convictions. What is for sure is that many of us experiencing a form of communication anxiety. The velocity, variety and mixture of personal & professional is confusing and/or overbearing.
Communications = anxiety
Here were some of the comments and conclusions that I heard (more or less accurately transcribed), with regard to the communications:
“People who have no emails in their inbox — i.e. who are constantly on their emails — cannot have the time to think or be strategic. They prefer to tick boxes and treat everything superficially.”
“I am so happy I am not on LinkedIn because it would just be hell — and a huge waste of time — dealing with all the incoming requests to connect or to buy something or some service.”
“If at the end of the week, I have too many mails, I just delete them all. If it’s important enough, they’ll come back to me the following week.”
Others, had a very different angle on how they view communications:
“Having too many unread mails stresses me out.”
“Responding to emails is just a question of decency.”
“I think it’s rude not to reply. Whichever network they use, I’d give them a week, because I know everyone can be busy or away. After that, it’s an offense.” – Anon, 16 year old.
“Being on time for a meeting — whether it is formal or informal — is a sign of respect.”
“I have a second phone to manage my important personal communications [to avoid getting drowned out by the professional messages].”
What I have realized is that each of us manages our communications the way we tend to see life. We develop strategies that are a reflection of our world view. For example, we can choose — or not — to use the new tools because we can judge them as more or less useful. They can be viewed as something new that is frightening or exciting… At the end of the day, there is no single most appropriate way to manage the burgeoning communication thoroughfare. One adopts a strategy in function of one’s life or world view.
You are how you communicate
Communication is like the heartbeat of life. It is the way to bond, relate, gain and harbor trust. The way we communicate speaks volumes about us, about our relationship with time, and how we value people.
Your thoughts? What are some examples that come to mind for you?