Leadership for Life – Old Fashioned

By on April 17, 2014
Leadership for Life - Old Fashioned

Our Leadership experts will be sharing tips and insights for everyone, at any station in life, at both home and work. Leadership for Life – the skills you embrace represent who you really are at all times.

These days, everything seems to happen at close to the speed of light. Communication is all about pushing and shoving electrons through various media. Wired devices are on their way out in favor of wireless media of all sorts.

By this time, most good leaders know the importance of offering feedback in a specific, timely, and balanced way. So we send emails to thank people for their good work, we chat live on websites to facilitate customer service, we send automated responses to people to let them know we’ve received their (electronic) messages, etc.

Most of the time, these types of communication are effective and serve our purposes. But I’m old fashioned enough to believe that there is no substitute for face-to-face contact, as well as hand-written communication. When the boss comes up to a worker – at the worker’s workspace – to offer a word of appreciation, that’s worth a hundred emails. You can be sure that the worker will talk about that experience to many coworkers and friends, and will remember it as long as his/her employment continues. Employees who have face-to-face positive conversations with their bosses will be engaged and motivated for years to come.

When was the last time you received a personally hand-written thank-you note through the U.S. Mail? Can’t remember? I’m not surprised. Postal mail these days usually consists of bills, ads, catalogs, solicitations, and other kinds of junk. When I get these things, they quickly go in the trash (not the bills). On the other hand, I never fail to open a hand-written envelope (real ones, not the ones printed to resemble handwriting). That kind of personal communication makes an impact on people, and if you want to be remembered, that’s where you start. One hand-written note will guarantee that all future communications, even emails, will be read and considered, rather than sent directly to spam/trash.

Let’s all remember that when you do business with people, you need to include the opportunity to communicate in uniquely human ways, not just push some electrons around. If you want to push some electrons at me, I’m at bschapiro@stlcc.edu. For old fashioned communications, I’m at 3221 McKelvey Rd., Bridgeton, MO 63044.

About Barry Schapiro

Barry is the Workforce Solutions Group Practice Leader for Leadership and Professional Development. His experience includes delivery and management of business training in a variety of industries, with specialties in leadership, team development, generational diversity, and customer service. Twitter

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