Thursday, April 01, 2010

3D Juggling 472: Digital Danger?

Jeremy writes: "I saw a chilling powerpoint slide at a well-respected business school yesterday. Divided into four quarters, it displayed the 20 or 25 different types of communication technology available in modern life and business today and allocated them to quartiles according to their suitability for various functional requirements.

All the things we use were there (emails, mobiles, texts, social networking, tele-conferencing etc), plus several I had never heard of! There were many additional web-based ones, some only appropriate to international corporate life. It made an impressive, colourful and complex display which took several minutes to absorb!

So why was it chilling? Because the simplest and most direct communication medium was nowhere on the slide. The possibility of a face to face conversation was absent. Even the “resolution of conflict” section didn’t include it.

You might argue that it was obviously meant to be assumed as an alternative... and that then becomes an issue we must face. The danger nowadays is that we categorise a personal conversation as a luxury, the medium of last resort and not the first.

The original slide was about making good choices of technology, and that is fine. However, there is a “use it or lose it” dimension to replacing simple, straight conversations with electronic alternatives. If we choose, through cultural or peer pressure, or convenience, or even fear, to habitually choose to exchange digital messages rather than facing people to both listen and talk, it could all become very addictive, and the choice element might oh-so-gradually disappear!

If there are really important conversations you need to have, or difficult messages you need to pass to the real people with whom you live and work, don’t rule out the face to face option without careful consideration.

If you lack confidence in this arena, why not talk to 3D about Coaching for Excellence or other appropriate and helpful interventions?

Love this? Do us a favour and send it to five people. Who thinks like you? You could send it to someone who is totally techie.

Discuss this week's juggling at

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