LOL, EOD, BRB, TY and YW might be key communication elements in a texting, emailing, social-media-obsessed world, but they don’t make for high-quality conversation. Heck, sometimes you might not even know what your communicating counterpart is saying to you.
With communication becoming more and more diluted by technology, I would like to stress the importance of once again valuing great conversation — an essential element in building strong, mutually beneficial and even profitable relationships.
Conversations are the building blocks of relationships. Without them, we form relationships that are devoid of substance. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the modern MO seems to be less talking, more texting. People either think they don’t have the time or don’t think it’s necessary to have real conversations with each other. But for anyone who wants to create truly beneficial relationships, you have to stop texting, walk away from the computer and connect with someone one-on-one through a great conversation.
Mastering the art of conversation goes a long way when you’re trying to connect with another person. Follow that conversation to its conclusion, and you never know what you will find out. The point is you have to be willing to have it in the first place, and that is something that too few of us value these days.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Read on to learn eight reasons why now’s the time to re-master the art of conversation.
1. It puts quality ahead of speed. Today, you can find out almost anything you’d ever want to know in seconds. You can rattle off a text faster than you can dial someone’s number. You can send an email out to multiple contacts in a couple of minutes. But with this speed of communication, you often sacrifice quality, and, ultimately, this sacrifice leaves you with paper-thin relationships.
Texting, IMing, and emailing provide great ways to communicate, but there is a one-sidedness to the kind of communication they allow. There is a delay in the actual exchange of ideas that doesn’t exist when you are speaking with someone. With these methods, the chances are also higher you will be misunderstood or you will misunderstand the other person because there’s no way to capture tone and feeling in a way that ensures it won’t be confused. To truly express yourself and allow others to express themselves, conversation provides the highest quality of communication.
2. It’s the glue of great relationships. You can email or text someone regularly, but it is only during a real conversation that a bond with him or her actually begins to strengthen. Think about this in terms of your professional life. Who do you trust more? The vendor who always calls you or the one who only communicates via email?
Sure, you might enjoy doing business with both of them, but when it comes right down to it, your relationship with the vendor you regularly speak to is probably stronger. Conversation is essential in all relationships. If you can’t hold a conversation with another person, your relationship will quickly break down.
3. It’s the only way to see what someone is saying. Face-to-face conversation is the only way to take in the total message someone is sending. It allows you to take his or her inflection, emotion and physical gestures into account along with what is actually being said. It also allows you to show that person you are listening and truly value what he or she has to say. Your face, eyes and body language allow you to give a range of emotions that indicates whether you are following what the speaker is saying.