TrendWaves #182: Communication Effectiveness in the 21st Century

Posted 20 Aug 2014
by Gary Nelson

TrendWaves - Leadership & organizational trends and insights for Business LeadersIssue #182 – This post is part of the TrendWaves blog series, an NBOGroup publication on Leadership & Organizational trends and insights for Business Leaders.

By 2020, we will have 7 times smart devices for every global citizen. That means connectivity in the extreme. Everyone, everywhere all the time.

PwC 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, 2014
Source: PwC 17th Annual Global CEO Survey, 2014

Today, we email someone and get very impatient that we don’t get a response in the next hour. We instant message and want a dialogue instantly, checking our Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp messages when we wake up, between meetings, during “bio-breaks” and leisure time. It’s the massive “you’ve got mail” on steroids. We hear the bell or tone/vibration and no matter what we are doing, we stop, perceive and sneak a peek. Wow, we wonder where our time goes and how interruptive and stressful our work is!

Next time, do what we did when you’re at your favourite restaurant: Watch people around you staring at their smartphones, checking email, voice or text messages. A date today is not candlelight, a glass of wine and special talk. It’s phones, devices and isolation.

Communication in the 21st Century
Image credit: Expat Lingo

If we are headed for more communication, how can we have connectivity that has face to face emotion, one to one or many dialogues and conversations?

No wonder our younger generations are more hampered about collaboration and, give and take, dialogue and debate.

We should consider the opportunity to silence the noise, distraction and self importance we put on devices and treasure the person across the table, in the next office or cubicle and in the next meeting. Face to face communication is still the most real genuine and clear way to relate to others.

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Topics: Communication , TrendWaves

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  • Pam Kuah

    Hi Gary, This is a great one. I share the same observation as you while dining out at restaurants. It's happening even at home. Sad....:(

  • Ryan (NBO)

    Hi Pam, thanks for the comment! I, too, have been a culprit and victim in similar situations. But now I'm more aware, it's actually rude to keep looking at your phone when you're with somebody. I tell them to stop it, but sometimes those workaholics just make it so hard to have an uninterrupted conversation.

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