When I see my daughter texting her friends, I would often say, “why not pick up the phone?” To that question, she would share with me it’s a group chat and far more efficient to organize their evening plans. Who can argue that technology can be an asset to help with productivity and communication? However, when I reflect on workplace culture and breakdowns in communication such as “I sent you an email,” or “they haven’t responded yet to me in Slack,” I wonder if technology is an asset or detriment to progress and efficiency? 

Recently, I stopped doing Zoom video calls for my networking; deferring to a lesser form of communication; the ancient telephone! I find by eliminating the visual distraction, I can more deeply focus on the words and intonation of the words exchanged to deeply understand the person and try to connect with them. My advice to you is to consider this old school way of communication. 

On a side note, if you are one of the many that I’ve recently spoken to by phone about your career journey, both opportunities & challenges, I can’t wait to bring your insights into my podcast and my “C-Suite Moments” as we kick off each episode!

…and now back to another story: 

In my last corporate job, I remember receiving emails from the sales team about how frustrated our customers were about quality and also the lack of responsiveness from the plant managers to their concerns. To that, I would pick up the phone, address their concerns and proceed with setting up a regular 1-2-1 schedule to build a collaborative relationship. They were sincerely appreciative of my approach as others would hide behind emails and texts rather than to confront adversity head on and resolve issues in real time.

Don’t get me wrong, technology is a time savings and highly effective in a culture where the team already has a high performing work ethic. But for teams that have not established trust and respect for one another technology, in my opinion, will be the demise of the community and result in more inefficiency.

If this sounds familiar and would you like to change the trend, here are a few suggestions: 

  • Be the change you want to see in others. Others will model your behavior. Stop with the technology and meet face-to-face or pick up the phone. If your colleague is in another country, WhatsApp is a great tool to also converse.
  • Use the rule of three. If there are more than three electronic exchanges (email, text, slack, chat) and the issue is not resolved or clear, meet face-to-face or pick up the phone!
  • Conquer confrontation. If you’re afraid to confront a difficult person for which technology has been a buffer to adversity, meet face to face or pick up the phone. At times like this, there is no better time to learn new skills to close gaps in understanding or reaching goals. My Drop In C-Suite Academy & 1-2-1 Coaching help you to manage challenging topics such as this.

When technology is doing more harm than good, resulting in inefficiencies and creating more division, it’s time to stop with technology and find ways of connecting with humanity. 

If you need more convincing, Business Insider shares additional insights about 9 Subtle Ways Technology is Making Humanity Worse. I also discuss in almost every chapter of The CEO’s Compass: that human connectivity and development is at the core of every change you need to get back on track. I’ve learned that once you build connections with people, then the use of technology can be an asset to exponentially create value. This too, can be evolved with support of a guide through my leadership and competency development offers. 

My wish is for every C-Suite Leader of today and tomorrow to navigate their careers with confidence. If this insight was helpful, share this article with others. If you have a unique challenge and wish to have a complementary conversation, please reach out to me

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P.S. C-Suite Academy enrollment is now open. This experience starts August 22nd, but enrollment ends August 15th. Message me for more information.