I’ve worked for some pretty big name companies who you think would be experts in communication, well at least it seems like it on the outside. The truth is though, their internal communication procedures are somewhat shocking. I recall a trainer who I needed to ask a question of, I was told to email him even though he was in the next work cubicle.
Interestingly my first University core unit at Sunshine Coast University was called Communication and Thought. From the onset it was made clear that in person communication is the best as it satisfies all the sensory measures. By the time I left Queensland University of Technology, I was shocked that group communication was down to Facebook groups. Not only is this a really bad way to communicate but all the working documents are held on free cloud utilities, removing the ownership of material from university systems. I really do fear for emerging new starters, accountability and communication techniques are really lacking.
So why am I bringing up this subject personally? I regard myself as generation Y even though I don’t fit the specific birth years. I was one of the first to connect to the internet at school, one of only two students at school to have a mobile phone, email and chat room access. Working in a few phone helpdesk environments I’ve been pushed to solve the customers issue and get them off the phone as soon as possible to ensure department KPI statistics look good.
But, this has led to some very bad habits in terms of reflecting a personal or professional connection between myself and others. I tend to be very brief and to the point within electronic communication, forgetting the personal and nice gestures that can be evidently felt when in person. How have your communication preferences changed? Email, SMS, Instant Messaging, Social Media, Phone Calls, Mail, In Person. Technology may make the communication divide in easier reach but does it help you maintain better personalised and professional relationships.
My first step was to recognise this is an issue and the second is finding a way to gain help with finding ways to address it. Remember how you learnt to write a letter, the format has changed over the years. But who helps you write an email, CV or your social media strategy?