How communication has changed with the newest generation
“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” – Lee Iacocca
Once upon a time when you worked for a company, you would have multiple reports due on any given day and have multiple face-to-face business meetings to discuss these reports. You would enter a conference room and distribute these black and white reports to a room full of your coworkers and superiors. While making a presentation, you would give each and every person in that room, eye contact and respect and most of the time, they would return the favor. While standing in front of the room and speaking, you would stand up straight and project your voice with a level of confidence and assertion. Everyone in that room was focused on the content and analyzing the information in front of them for quality. After all of your hard work and dedication, if your boss immediately shuts you down and has criticism, you would be respectful, listen, and go back to the grind to rework what you have done. Now, reports are created to look pretty, presented through technology, everyone is looking at the screen instead of you, and your feelings are bound to get hurt.
Due to technology, a lot of conferences are over the phone, through an iPad face-timing, or just non existent and the boss will be electronically sent all of the data to review, without a meeting. In some ways, this is a huge opportunity for greatness. We are no longer limited by our location to conduct business. If your boss is in China and you need to show him something, the fact that you could have him on face-time or Skype within a few minutes, completely alters how business is conducted. However, technology can be utilized for greatness or for laziness/underachievement. The concept of formal, respectable, and professional communication can get lost when you are instant messaging your boss. The trick is to utilize technology and improve your company’s research abilities, customer outreach capabilities, and advancement opportunities through technological developments, without allowing your company to become laissez-faire with constant informal communication and a lack of professional accountability.
The more technologically advanced we become, the more we are able to advance how things look, which is the “pretty” aspect of businesses. Pretty does truly have its place in business, such as creating websites, displays, products, and other advertisements. When reaching out to the public through advertisements, a business wants to put its best foot forward with excellent graphic designs and catchy logos. However, when in a business conference room to report data to fellow coworkers, pretty is limited in its necessity and yet has more and more of a focus in the workplace. Content and quality can sometimes be forgotten due to such a large focus on making things look desirable. This has happened to quite a few companies that released a shoe or a car that had the looks down pat but the quality was so poor that the products were recalled within a year. If content and product quality were the focus in that conference room, those mistakes, most likely, would have been caught and corrected before the launch. The visual quality is important but it is not the one and only focus that it can sometimes be portrayed to be and having checks and balances for all aspects of quality can help those mistake not be made. Nowadays though, having a mistake of yours being corrected, can apparently be heartbreaking?
There are some businesses that have a human resources representative come in and talk to you if your boss rejects some of your work, to imply that you might be emotionally struggling with the concept of rejection. Rejection is essential to success, it drives us and motivates us to do our absolute best. If we coddle each person after they spill milk, they may not feel motivated enough to figure out, how to stop spilling that milk. Going in front of your boss to present your reports and ideas should be a little scary, just enough to motivate you to check all loose ends and make sure that all of your data and ideas are fully backed up by research and facts. Having too soft of an approach in your business can lead to many loose ends and mistakes being made due to lack of fear and accountability. You can have one hundred ideas, but if you do not have the motivation, dedication, and professionalism to back these ideas up using factual evidence and the ability to adequately present these ideas in a way that people will listen and understand, than the idea means very little. Part of being able to express these ideas, is understanding that rejection is very possible and is not at all fun, but, the less you are coddled, the more you will work at perfecting your idea before presenting it, leaving less and less room for error.
Balance is key. Balance of technology versus human interaction, balance of visual quality versus practical quality, and balance of coddling versus destroying hopes and dreams. A business, in order to succeed, needs to find the middle ground in many aspects of their operations. Understanding how to utilize technology to expand their business and create an edge in the market, without becoming dependent on it to portray professionalism and completely replacing the need for human interaction, will lend a business well to future success. Understanding that getting a consumer’s attention through visual quality is important but without proper functionality of the product, the success of the product for the business, will be limited to none. Finally, employees need to be able to handle rejection and employers need to be able to express disappointment or criticism without constant fear of lawsuits and tears, however, a business also needs to understand that employees are their backbone and they also deserve respect. Learning the perfect balance comes with time and experience but having these concepts in mind when going into a new business, will allow for a head-start in creating a successfully balanced operation.