“Do You Still work for…..

25 Apr

Money?” was the content of an email I recently received.  I chuckled for about two minutes before trying to return an equally humorous quip.  This email was wry because I knew the person, a former client who I respected and admired.  Such an email could easily give rise to a negative emotional reaction.

The very best form of communication between two people is a face-to-face conversation where both parties are fully engaged.  If it is a serious interaction, follow-up with a written communication focuses and clarifies the content of the communication.

Much is being written about how using mobile technology to exchange information is not communication, only a connection.  To mistake an e-exchange for a relationship is a serious matter.  My relationship with her was developed long before, face-to-face.

I have been collecting impressions from people in organizations for a long time.  When email became dominant, the level of complaints skyrocketed.  Now comments are about people who seem to be on-line all the time.

Sherry Turkle, in an provocative article in the NY Times says “Always-on/always-on-you devices provide three powerful fantasies: that we will always be heard; that we can put our attention wherever we want it to be; and that we never have to be alone.”

This is deeply troubling since evidence about creativity, personal productivity, effective management and leadership show personal reflection, spending time in your head, is an essential ingredient in all these endeavors.  Food for thought.

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