Tech isn’t the problem, we are

In a digital-device-driven world, many business owners may in fact be hurting themselves with sloppy tech-enabled communications. Sure, smartphones, social media and other tech tools can be terrific productivity enhancers and lead generators. But they can also make you and your business look bad if improperly used or abused. More

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Tech isn’t the problem, we are

Posted 8/26/13

In a digital-device-driven world, many business owners may in fact be hurting themselves with sloppy tech-enabled communications. Sure, smartphones, social media and other tech tools can be terrific productivity enhancers and lead generators. But they can also make you and your business look bad if improperly used or abused.

In your communications with customers, colleagues, prospects, vendors and even your own family, have you let “quick and easy” replace meaningful and productive? “The very tools that help us maintain contact with people worldwide also distort our priorities,” said Geoffrey Tumlin, a leading business-communications expert and founder of Mouthpeace Consulting.

It’s tough to shake bad digital habits spawned by multitasking on multiple devices when you should be paying attention to what someone is saying. The more screens, devices and social media channels we have, the more we are prone to slipups, error-ridden emails or trivial texting.

Yet according to Tumlin, author of “Stop Talking, Start Communicating,” it’s possible to shake off tech-enabled communication pitfalls and start connecting more productively. Here are some ways you can triumph over tech-tool pitfalls:

• Stop hyper-communicating. The digital communications revolution has created “chatter clutter.” As a result, people now either ignore or simply forget much of what they see and hear. To break through this, take a step back. When it comes to customers, start listening like every sentence matters, talk like every word counts and act like every interaction is important.

• Keep tech in perspective. Because smartphones, computers and other technology do so much for us, we’ve understandably fallen in love with them. “But in our enthusiasm for what our tools can do, we’ve lost sight of the people behind the tools,” said Tumlin. We expect too much of our devices and too little of each other. Hitting “send” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve “communicated” anything.

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