In an age of communication where people attempt to be social with the aid of modern technology, I feel we are becoming more anti-social than at any time in history. I believe that people are wired to be social yet, I see signs of more anti-social behavior than before the age of mobile devices and social media.
Has Our Use of Modern Technology Disconnected Us?
I was seated in a booth at a diner enjoying a conversation with my wife. I briefly glanced at the tables in my section and noticed most of the people had cell phones on the table by their place settings. Most tables had one or more people using their devices while participating in the conversations at their table.
Recently I’d been thinking about the isolation that’s taking place all around us in society, and thought to myself, how can anyone give their undivided attention to people in separate conversations simultaneously? I might have been quick to find fault with them but, I already had my cell phone on the table next to my place setting. I put away my phone and gave my wife my undivided attention… smart man.
All In or Not In At All
Isn’t being fully present an essential in conversation? I believe that as social media and a rapidly advancing technology find its way into our daily lives, more people are communicating without connecting on a meaningful level. I believe our social graces have taken a hit with the absence of social etiquette.
While being preoccupied with our mobile devices we lose our self-awareness and an awareness of the world around us as we go through life in a hypnotic-like state, never giving our full attention to anyone unless it’s through some device.
Did you know that Facebook has more than 2 billion active users and Instagram more than 800 million? It’s projected that by the end of 2019 there may be more than 5 billion people using mobile phones.
While it’s amazing having more than 70% the world’s population communicate with each other, I wonder what the next generation will be facing if we do not learn how to connect on a deeper level.
The Key to Effective Communication is Connecting
Connecting with people is more skill than talent, Getting to know someone can be developed and improved. Obviously, connections must be mutual if any meaningful rapport is to be established.
So, how can you become interested in what another person is saying? You’re both friendly and happy, and you show care and concern for one another. Coordination: you feel “in sync” with one another, so that you share a common understanding. Your energy levels, tone and body language are also similar.
Four Simple Points that Have Helped Me Build Healthy Relationships.
Point #1 – Put Down the Cell Phone – Enough said.
Point #2 – Understand That We All Have More in Common Than We Realize Learn to be honest with yourself and with others about yourself. There’s simply no way around it, this requires vulnerability. I faced my insecurities head on and looked for minor blunders I was comfortable enough to talk about, I found poking some fun at myself set others at ease mostly, because they had similar experiences and discovering that set me at ease.
Point #3 – Be Genuinely Interested in People For Who They Are Connecting with people requires speaking into their world so;
Learn to understand their point of view without critiquing or debating, just listen.
Ask questions to help you discover who they are, everyone has a story to tell.
The more you listen to others the more you’ll learn about yourself.
Point #4 – Be Positive and Affirming Becoming an honest encourager opens doors to relationships faster than anything I know. Affirming people begins with dignity and self-respect, who people are and what they think and feel matters. Keeping your cell phone out of sight and maintaining eye contact during a conversation is affirming because it sends a message to the other person that you’re “all in”.
In our upcoming Leadership Bootcamp on January 12th, we will discussing many of the points discussed in this article in further depth. You can check it out here http://www.LionsPrideBootcamps.com. Hope to see you there.
*** This article was authored by John Picarello, Chief Leadership Officer at Lions Pride Leadership Co.***