The 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.
This year has been a year that we've been more reliant than ever on technology. It has been a year that has brought new norms to our working life.
Technology has taken on another dimension with the new working norms that have come this year.
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 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 be in lockdown, you may be coming out of lockdown or just adjusting to the restrictions that a global pandemic imposes upon us. 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:
- 7 ways to communicate effectively in virtual meetings
- Everyday Leadership ~ Taking Responsibility
- Where is your focus?