We live in an age where there are unprecedented opportunities available for us to communicate with each other.
No longer restricted to face to face, letters and phones the internet has produced not only new channels and environments in which and through which to communicate but it has also done away with the tyranny of distance so that at any time, anywhere in the world we can speak with anyone we choose.
And yet, it’s still down to us to put the thoughts and then the words together before they get sent out. It’s still down to us to be brave about what we want to say, and accept responsibility for what we say and do.
So the irony of this blog will not go astray when I say that over the past few weeks I've had two of the hardest conversations I can think of in recent times, and all the gadgets and gizmos in the world did not aid one bit in either of them. It’s ironic also because Communications is my game. I'm a comms junkie who happens to work at it one way and another for a living and for leisure, and it's fair given me a slap on the butt about that communication channel we tend to forget first amongst all the new toys - face to face.
It can be scary, eh? Actually being in someone's presence, talking to them and making yourself vulnerable by revealing what's inside your head.
There's no hiding behind a computer alias or even a Facebook status (which can often seem quite faceless, actually). There's no anonymity and no LOL factor to add which might take away any sting (actually, I loathe LOL and have never used it!).
So, both times, I screwed up my courage after literally sleepless nights and disturbed days, and I went along, sat down and said exactly how I felt.
And guess what? The earth didn't shatter and I didn't lose those people. What did happen were deep discussions that can only happen when we take the courage to jump into that area that perhaps everyone is thinking of but no one goes there first. The result was an enhancing, rather than a diminishing of our relationships, and peace of mind restored.
Give it a try. Take 10 or 15 minutes to go and talk with someone rather than sending them an email. I'm a great believer in the saying that 'People won't remember what you did, but they'll remember how you made them feel.’ Grab back that opportunity to make people feel good by talking to them face to face, over a coffee or a beer or just a desk-perching moment.
That's something that we can't get from emails and Facebook status updates, but that quality of communication is something that we dare not lose, because if we do lose it, we lose part of our humanity.
Have a great week!