Communication methods have changed since I started my professional career over 30 years ago. In the beginning the word was spoken or on paper. My Administrative Assistant would put snail-mail on the right corner of my desk. I would act on the information and then put it on the left corner for her to collect and file. She scheduled all my appointments. We’re talking Old Testament stuff here.
With the blink of an eye, email replaced snail-mail. Instead of people scheduling appointments with me through her, their requests came directly to me and I had to tell her about them. At the beginning of this technological revolution, many PC salespersons predicted the paperless office. That may have occurred for some, but that’s not my reality.
Now, I can’t imagine operating without a computer. I have a desktop, laptop, cellphone, iPad, iPod and an Android Tablet. I have to navigate a variety of communication methods that include, but not limited to Email Facebook, Facetime, Text, Messaging, Twitter, Instagram, Slack, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, Zoom, Skype, GroupMe, Calendly, Glide, and Hootsuite. If it weren’t for the Millennials in my life, I would be lost.
Communication methods have changed, but the need for quality relationships has not. A lot of my millennial family and friends would rather text than talk whereas Baby Boomers like myself prefer to do the opposite. It’s not either or; I believe both in-person and electronic communication are necessary. Effective communication is having messages received as intended. In other words, you don’t want what you are communicating to be misunderstood. Relationships matter: clear communication using the appropriate method, strengthens them.