With the advent of the internet, “communication” has become much faster and far reaching as a result, the prospect of misinterpretation becomes that much greater.
The time for thinking something through has disappeared because of the intrusive nature of the email or social networking, people feel the need to respond instantly, thus time for considered thought about what is being said or written and how it should be said or written is lost.
Sending an email or a response is often a knee jerk reaction.
Email and social media are as a result inhibiting the art of communication through speech or the written word.
Many would argue the Internet and Broadband have improved communication and yes, they have with unprecedented access to information and no they haven’t by providing an easy distraction from the job in hand.
By adding to the myriad of “time thieves” that disrupt the executive’s day, concentration and focus can be lost from the immediate task.
The question then becomes are emails and social media the servant (tool) or the master of the executive.
Using any kind of tool requires a discipline, it is now all too easy to stop what you are in the middle of something to answer the dong from the PC or the flag flashing in the top right hand corner telling you an email has landed or you have been endorsed by a colleague in LinkedIn.
Your train of thought has been broken and therefore when you get back to the issue you have to spend a little time to regroup your thoughts .
It could be likened to climbing a greasy pole, up 4 feet down 3 and start again!
Whilst time management has always been an important part of an executives day, never has it become more important now with the increased number of time thieves clamouring for this limited resource.
How often does this happen, you send an email to a colleague asking a question or clarification about some point.
They send back an answer and copy a colleague – protection, no blame here or CYA?
The answer they have sent is not quite what you expected and prompts another question and you feel that perhaps another colleague should also be involved.
Now 4 people are on the circulation list and so on!
But each time, you and they have had to stop, read the email, key a response and so on.
In the days before the Internet, you would have walked over to your colleague or telephoned them and initially had a one to one dialogue without the time consuming to and fro which could involve more people.
The initial disruption would probably have been once only at atime convenient to you both.
Lets not lose sight of the basics and kid ourselves about “improved communication” coming from the internet!
Everything has a cost of some sort, there is a cost associated with the use of the Internet – EXECUTIVE TIME and DISTRACTION