Posted June 19, 2017

COACHING MINUTE: Face to Face Communication Saves Time

By Jackie Gaines, MS, RN

In the good old days, we picked up the phone to talk to our colleagues, family and friends or went to see them. Now we text and email.

On the surface, technology appears to be a great time saver, but it can cause you to spend extra time fixing miscommunications. Real human-to-human connection adds tone and texture to the discussion. Face to face, you enhance your communication even further with nonverbal cues that help tell a complete story. 

Technology stimulates our intellect and imagination, but it will never replace the benefits of human-to-human interaction. So how much time do we spend interacting with our “toys”? According to Nielsen's Total Audience Report (2015), Americans aged 18 and older spend more than 11 hours a day watching TV, listening to the radio or using smartphones and other electronic devices.  If most of us are awake 16 -18 hours/day, multitasking seems inevitable. Time for a priority check! 

My advice for better managing your time? Whenever possible, communicate face-to-face. You will improve your productivity and your ability to influence, persuade and negotiate. What's more, you'll avoid conflict and misunderstandings that take time to correct. By communicating effectively the first time, you eliminate the need to backtrack or start over. Make a conscious effort to evaluate your current use of technology in your work and personal life, and prioritize the human connection over machines. Remember, we prioritize what we value. 

For more information about time management, check out Jackie’s book “Wait a Hot Minute! How to Manage Your Life with the Minutes You Have.”


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