Speaking in person as a standard

Two men stop to have a conversation on the street. Image Credit: Jim Pennucci, via Flickr/CC.

Two men stop to have a conversation on the street. Image Credit: Jim Pennucci, via Flickr/CC.

Face-to-face communication is a contender (if not the champion) for the title of “best communication method ever.” Conversations, brainstorming, and describing design problems all take advantage of verbal and non-verbal communication that can only occur in face-to-face interactions. Also, if something needs urgent attention, a direct connection in person or by phone has proven to be reliable for helping to get things done.

I’ve made an effort in recent months to focus on interacting with others in person or by phone in place of electronic communication. One exemplary benefit of this change was in time saved. Questions and problems were resolved rapidly rather than over days of email or voice mail correspondence. In addition, I’ve been more available to build relationships with my associates by hearing about their projects and helping where needed.

In meetings, I’ve made an effort to organize what I say by taking notes and considering my words prior to speaking. Also, when I engage with colleagues, I make an effort to ask open-ended questions in place of making statements or sharing assessments.

I continue to seek a balance for how to make personal contributions to collective goals while supporting environments where team-based collaboration soars.

I feel like the habits I’ve worked on have had a positive impact in interacting with colleagues in ways that generate ideas and options for our projects.

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