The lost art of face-to-face communication (Communication Matters)

Technology can add to communication breakdown.
By Sandy French
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 09/06/2001

I have a blunt message to all supervisors, managers, and in particular executives: Stop whatever you’re doing, get out of your office and talk to your people.

Many companies I work with have lost, ignored or never cultivated this fundamental skill. Consequently face-to-face conversation is disappearing. This lack of personal connection between management and employees has a substantial negative effect on everything from individual performance to team effectiveness to company culture. The great irony is that management is about working with people, it’s not closed doors, voice messages or memos.

Being a consultant, I would like to say that I’ve had an organizational epiphany related to this concept, but the reality has been somewhat less dramatic. I was recently in a meeting with an executive who showed me an e-mail he had just received from a colleague.