Face to Face Communication

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It's unbelievable how dependent we've become as a society on electronic communication devices! E-mail, text messaging, PDA's, cell phones, video conferencing, blackberries, blueberries, rasberries, and more...have taken the place of good old fashioned, face-to-face communication leading to many interpersonal difficulties and miscommunications in today's workplace. You may be thinking...Why improve my interpersonal skills when most businesses do 99% of communication by telephone, teleconferencing, videoconferencing, e-mail, and on rare occasions, snail mail. A popular way of thinking today...but, is it really the correct way? "Face-to-face communication remains the most powerful human interaction," says Kathleen Begley, Ed.D., author of Face-to-Face Communication, Making Human Connections in a Technology-Driven World. "As wonderful as electronic devices are, they can never fully replace the intimacy and immediacy of people conversing in the same room and it has worked for millions of years." “Too many people take the easy way out and try and do everything via e-mail and in a lot of cases consume more time on both sides of the equation than they would have by simply picking up the phone or going to see the person,” said one survey respondent. “I often find that when I look the other person in the eyes and ask them something I get far more than I ever would over e-mail.” “Personal discussion is the foundation of communications,” said another respondent. “Once this foundation is established, it enables all of the other forms of communication. Having a personal connection builds trust and minimizes misinterpretation and misunderstanding.” Using e-mail rather than personal discussion can also delay decision-making. “I find that many executives avoid conversation because they may be forced to make a decision or express an opinion,” said one respondent. “If they can keep communications within e-mail, they can continually pass the buck around or back without having to...
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