During a recent birthday party my guests were talking about digital communication and how they sometimes dislike it. Before mobile phone’s their children would come home to their moms and dads to show their holiday pictures and share their stories, nowadays all they received was an app. Everything is shared digitally before the holidays are over, so there is no point anymore for a personal visit. This touched me, maybe even hit me in the face, as I know and feel that a lot has changed to make life easier. I love it that if I’m abroad on business I can easily call my son and husband via face time and give them a virtual kiss. Or send them pictures of places where I am, but I still love my photo albums as well and take time to share with my friends with a glass of wine.

Sharing time together is also essential during your work to enhance working relationships. During a sparring partner session last week a director mentioned that his team only sends emails to each other (most of the time “copying the whole world” in). This quickly leads to frustrations as team members often misread or misunderstand the emails. So, why not turn around to face your colleague, often just a few feet away, to tell your message or ask a question? I understand you cannot walk around the whole day. If you really need to ask a question directly, first try to find the answer yourself or bundle questions so you can ask your colleague if he has the time to discuss several things.

I am in favor of all digital developments as this makes working a lot more efficient. The less beautiful side is that sometimes we forget to have sincere attention for each other. Do you know through Facebook or Twitter that your colleague won a football match this weekend or did you share a coffee together and ask? Building relationships, private or business, is about sharing moments together. Sincere attention is genuinely making time for each other, not to want to know all, but to reach out physically and show you care. I believe in the power of attention, recognition and appreciation (see Work from the heart).

Let’s turn it around together: sincere attention makes a positive difference. Thank you.

Moniek van Rheenen-Schreurs

Comment