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CareerZOT Talk by Kathy Seaton

Spring 2020

Email. Text. Messenger. Snapchat. Slack. Remember the days when we were forced to talk to each other at work, face to face, in person?

Kathy Seaton

I'm very guilty of using technology to communicate, however, I would like to argue the point that we rely too much on our smart devices and laptops, rather than face-to-face discussion.

There are pitfalls when we don't talk to each other and we're robbing ourselves of the opportunity to share, collaborate, strategize, and brainstorm. There is no way that creative or productive planning can be accomplished over email or text.

We might be finding that it's easier to text or email so that we can craft our messages, and perhaps, hide behind them. But remember that our little smart phone devices were originally designed so that we could communicate more efficiently.

I believe that more “real” business happens with “real” conversation.

And here's why.

  1. We need to engage. Relationship building is the most important thing that we can foster at work. It positions us as leaders, and it makes us more successful. But indeed, these relationships need to be built from contact, from conversation—or maybe even debate—but it needs to be face-to-face.
  2. We need to use our time wisely. A simple conversation can save you the time of exchanging 20 emails—the back and forth interaction is often a total waste of time.
  3. Our conversations should be concise and to the point to accomplish something. And detailed discussions can't be done by staring at a computer screen.

I'll leave you with this thought to consider. Author David Lynch said, “Everyone is on the internet but they're not talking to each other. There are groups upon groups out there, but they don't talk to one another. So, while the internet brings everyone into a shared space, it does not necessarily bring them together.”

Read more at ce.uci.edu/careerzot