The incredible tech tools that connect us today allow us to work faster and collaborate across boundaries in ways we couldn’t have imagined just a few years ago. Employees in Chicago can share screens, hear the voices, and see the faces of colleagues in Beijing, or London, or suburban New Jersey, or the next room over. CEOs (if they choose) can be reached in an instant via chat, text, and WhatsApp.
The way we communicate has been disrupted and democratized, but no amount of technological advancement and increased efficiency can replace the value of authentic human connection. And as we introduce more and more digital communication tools into our workplaces, it’s more important than ever to focus on how we reach, connect, and communicate with each other. Because mindful, authentic communication helps us go deeper in ways that even the most cutting-edge technology can’t.
It’s a need that must be reinforced and nurtured, and as a manager, you can take a leading role. When your team sees that qualities like being a good listener and building strong relationships are truly valued, people will be more productive, more fulfilled, and even feel less lonely. Here are a few ways to unleash the power of mindful communication at your organization:
1. Bring your team together regularly for in-person meetings
There’s no substitute for face-to-face gatherings. Whether it’s a lunch or a formal meeting, when your team gets together, you’ll not only build camaraderie that can lead to performance-improving friendships, you’ll learn how to more effectively and authentically communicate with each other.
2. Do an “audit” of your team’s communication tools
Sometimes there is such a thing as too much technology. Ask your direct reports if the communication tools they’re using are adding value to their work. If something isn’t working, consider making a change.
3. Make meetings device-free
Without digital distractions, your team meetings will take on a new life: more eye contact, livelier conversation, and more authentic connections. It’s the kind of atmosphere that will lead to bigger, better ideas and stronger collaborations.