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Are you showing this trait when you communicate?

Remote controls for TVThe Zenith Radio Corporation created the very first television remote control in 1950. This remote could turn a television on and off as well as change channels. It was called the 'Lazy Bone'. It wasn't a wireless remote control, as we know today. The Lazy Bone remote control was attached to the television by a bulky cable.

Over the years, the TV remote control has been refined to what we know today. It's convenient and something that we're reliant upon and now take for granted.

We take for granted the technology around us and the convenience that it brings us.

In recent times we've been more reliant than ever on technology. We now have new norms to our working life.

Technology has taken on another dimension with the new working norms.

We're coming to the end of the year – and what a year it's been! Yet with our dependence on technology, it's easy to become lazy with our communication.

There are so many options now – email, video conferencing, messaging and the phone, to name a few – that help us keep in touch with team members and clients.

Because we have the technology that allows us to easily communicate, we can take for granted the interpersonal skills that are important in developing trusting working relationships. Technology is great – don't get me wrong – it's helped us to continue working through the global pandemic.

But has it made us a little lazy too?

Are we focusing on the best way to communicate with individual team members or are we allowing the convenience of the technology available to dictate how we communicate with others?

Consider the following questions:

  • Is email fatigue taking over?
  • Is Zoom / OneConference / Teams / [insert your preferred video conferencing platform] exhausting you?
  • Do you allow a visual of you (that is, video is 'on') while on a conference call?
  • Have you considered checking with individuals as to their preferred way of 'connecting'?
  • Are you going through the motions or are you truly checking in?
You may be thinking, I keep in touch and have a genuine concern for my team members.

I don't doubt it. What I'm saying is that it's easy to use a means of communication that is easy for us without considering what the recipient would prefer or would be a best option.

As a global community we're still adjusting to the new norm of work.

Depending upon where you are in the world, you may still be adjusting to your own new norm of work. Whatever your situation, communicating virtually has had its positives and its challenges.

Every work situation is an opportunity to refine the way we communicate.

By doing so, we can become more productive in our role and build strong working relationships.

Just like the refinement of the 'Lazy Bone' remote TV control, effective communication is something that is refined by adapting to changing work situations.

Consider doing your own check-in, both with yourself and others, to make sure that you're not taking for granted that true communication is happening.

Interested in finding out more about communicating effectively in the virtual working world?

Here is a selection of articles that may be of interest to you:




Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. Her programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
30 Business Communication Tips

Looking for tips to help you with your speaking, writing and interpersonal communication?

Then download my free ebook, 30 Business Communication Tips.

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  1. Robyn Stewart

    There has never been a year of such opportunity to use remote technologies. It has not always been a year of timely response, or, without difficulties using those technologies. No matter what the pressure of this year has been, there is still a need to maintain excellent customer service. We have all been exposed to enough stress and anxiety and being ignored is not the way to ensure and encourage the retention of loyal customers.

    I have found that some businesses make it very difficult to make contact by any other method than the one they prefer, often meaning no human contact. On the other hand technology has made life a lot easier to access goods and services at times like these and to communicate with people we are not able to see in person.

    It may have all started with the TV remote, but, remote technology has been key to keeping us connected in 2020. It has not been without its difficulties and when used effectivley a great tool for all.

    • Maria Pantalone

      Very true, Robyn. I focused on communicating with team members but the same holds true for providing an excellent service to clients.

      I agree that technology has enabled us to stay connected this year and when used effectively, has helped us to navigate the challenges that have come with living through a pandemic.


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