This is a few days later than usual – sorry – but the first part of the week had me doing some other things that, quite frankly, were more important. I attended the funeral for the teenage son of some very dear friends of ours.
The last gentleman to address all who were gathered at the funeral made a comment that reminded me of a very important lesson for those of us who work in the real estate and mortgage world. He made it clear that he was not decrying technology and what it affords all of us, but he said we should make a concerted effort to talk more to one another – actually TALK, not communicate through email or text messages. If one were to start a list of people guilty of using email and texts more than making phone calls and speaking face to face with other human beings, I’d very well be near the top.
Talking affords everyone the chance to get immediate feedback and see if their message was received as intended. Talking allows us to show emotion (excitement, concern, worry, etc.) and spur others to give it right back to us. Don’t fool yourself into believing that was the reason emojis were invented.
We argue that email and texts are a much more efficient way to communicate. No, they ARE more efficient means to DELIVER a message, but that’s not communication. Long ago, before email and text messages existed, I learned that in order for actual communication to take place, the message has to be delivered and FEEDBACK has to be given. All too often, we forget about that second part because we feel our message is more important than anything else and don’t care how it’s received.
While I’ll certainly admit to being guilty of using technology more than I should, I always try to meet with people whenever possible. I want to see the expressions on their faces when I say something; I want to be able to read their body language to make sure we’re COMMUNICATING. Meeting someone in person is worth 100 times more than the time I’d save by talking to them on the phone instead of driving across town or to another metropolitan area to make that meeting.
If you think about it, this article is the perfect example of NOT communicating – I’m basically talking AT you rather than WITH you. In that vein, give me a call and let me know what you think about this and what you do to communicate better with your clients. I’m all ears!