Face To Face
Most communication today takes place via email, text, or social networking sites (i.e. Facebook®). This impersonal communication creates a myriad of problems on multiple levels.
PROBLEM #1: The Courage Pill
Impersonal communication acts like a barrier, allowing you to take on a more aggressive personality style - thus composing and sending correspondences that you wouldn't normally verbalize if you were face-to-face.
Whether it's an email, a social networking group, a forum, or a chat room, many individuals “shift” their personalities from who they are in real life. This is what I label as "Batman® Syndrome" – referencing the contrast between mild-mannered billionaire Bruce Wayne, and Batman®. The protection, and to some degree - anonymity afforded to you from your computer or smart phone, allows you to step into a different persona.
I have personally "unmasked" a number of individuals via telephone. Their online presence and email communication style is aggressive and argumentative, but upon speaking with them on the telephone, I find them to be dull, boring, and not surprisingly – very sheepish.
PROBLEM #2: Where’s The Non-Verbal?
Most experts agree that non-verbal language makes up about 85% - 93% of communication. Therefore, when you eliminate the non-verbal component of interpersonal conversation, you are only receiving - at best, 15% of communication.
Without the non-verbal branch of communication, there’s an absence of visual cues that often convey the underlying message. This is especially true when you eliminate eye contact and hand gestures.
When people are face to face, they are exposed. You are able to hear their vocal tone and pitch - both of which are fully masked when using text, email, or social networking communication.
When people are face to face, they are naked. You are able to “read” 85% (or thereabouts) of non-verbal communication that was likely to have been missing from the conversation.
People use some electronic communication as a "cloaking device" (a Star Trek reference for those of you who like that genre of film and television) that acts as a barrier in preventing others from seeing who they really are. They get to become the person who they wish to be, which – in essence, means that they lack authenticity.
With these communication “challenges” in mind, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why, when it comes to matters of importance – or what I refer to as critical conversations, I advocate face-to-face meetings. At the very least, if a face to face conversation is not possible due to distance, use a service like Skype®. Face-to-face communication allows for an uncontrolled conversation because it forces the individual parties to show their cards.
For day-to-day non-critical conversations, go ahead and text, email, or send a message on Facebook®. But in matters of importance, make sure that you can see, hear, and yes feel - what the other person is saying. Reading their communication is NOT enough. Because they are basically standing there "naked" in your presence, you will often find that the “All Powerful Oz” is nothing more than just a little sheepish man standing behind a curtain.
Dr. Marc Swerdlick is a relentless tactical strategist, a well known sought after professional motivational speaker, a real world, no holds barred personal improvement expert, and the founder and Chief Mind Officer of Mind Virus Inc. - located in Chicago, Illinois – www.mindvirus.com.
Dr. Swerdlick is a member of The National Speakers Association, International Speakers Network, and Global Speakers Federation. Dr. Marc is known for his straightforward and unambiguous speaking style. What sets Dr. Marc apart from the herd, is that he doesn’t stop by telling you how to achieve your goals: He shows you how to get there.
Dr. Swerdlick can be reached at 800.991.MIND or byt emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.