How good do we feel we are at communicating with those we need to communicate with on a regular basis – our families, friends, work colleagues, clients and suppliers? To me, life is all about communication and not only the fact that we do communicate but how we communicate.

Just going back a little over 30 years ago when I set up my Advertising Agency, the technology we have today wasn’t there at all. Very few people had mobile phones and to say they were mobile was a bit of a misnomer. It was like carrying a house brick round with you. Nobody mugged you for it. It was more likely that you mugged with it. I didn’t know anyone at that time – certainly not in the small business sector – who had mobile phones, web sites or email addresses. The only way we could make appointments was to use local directories or newspapers and we had to use a land line. So we had to ring people or personally visit them. That was the only way to communicate with clients and suppliers

I remember going to a networking meeting in those early days and someone handing me their business card with a website or an email address. I really thought they had made it, and technology was just starting to come to the fore. We had our first computer in the office in the early 90’s, and mobiles some time later, so for the first 4 or 5 years, we had a landline, an A4 diary and a car.

Now, how many people call someone as opposed to texting or emailing, or using some other form of online communication? A lot of families even communicate via the use of technology rather than face to face. We don’t hand write letters any more. A lot of people send ecards for birthdays or special occasions or just post a message on facebook. We all slip into this way of communication. Personally I think we need to stop doing it so much. We need to go back to hand writing a card or letter and posting it. Because we all get so few cards or letters in the post these days, it is so much more appreciated by the recipient. We need to go back to phoning people and not messaging them.

As I write this article at the start of week 10 of the COVID19 lockdown process, the thing we are all missing is human connection, special times with families and friends, a hug or a handshake with a business colleague. We are not missing driving an hour a day to the office or spending more hours a day at work than we should be doing. We are missing quality time with families and friends.

We need to be putting people at the forefront of everything we do. The house we live in and the car we drive are really not important. Making sure we are communicating to the absolute best of our abilities is what is important. If we are an employer and we have staff on furlough, we should be communicating with them regularly. We should be checking on their health and well-being. A lot of people are mentally not coping well, and even those of us who think we are, are we really?

Spend more time with family and friends. Build strong long lasting relationships. Make sure we treat our employees in a special way and not a commodity or a statistic. Let’s have more time for people. Let’s not jump to conclusions. We don’t know what people are going through. We are totally in control of how we react to situations and circumstances. Let’s make a commitment to be great communication experts from this point forth.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 26/05/2020