This week I had the great pleasure of attending the IABC World Conference in San Diego and I must confess I feel completely energized!
I had lunch with my former University of Missouri journalism school advisor, Dr. Don Ranly (who I had not seen in – dare I admit – a couple of decades). I met numerous people I have only spoken to on the phone, or met only once, but have sustained great relationships over months and years. I reconnected with a former Navy colleague who was speaking on the innovations of crisis communications in the military. And I learned about so much of the great work being done around the world by talented communicators.
Events like these remind me of the true value of human connection in a world where email, text messaging, Facebook updates and Twitter are the standard method of communication. It reminds me of one of the message points I used when doing media training years ago as it pertains to communication and how you are being heard. The statistic went something like this: 55% of communication is non-verbal; 38% is tone; and only 7% are the words themselves. If this is the case, how much conversation is lost when we only communicate through electronic means?
This is true for interviewing as well. I am currently facilitating the interview process for a number of candidates and the hiring team for a client. Everyone has incredibly busy schedules and finding times that work for everyone has proven to be more than challenging, causing the process to be drawn out much longer than anticipated. Everyone agrees, however, that face-to-face meetings are needed for this important process to ensure the chemistry is right – in addition to the skills and experience, of course.
The communication that occurs when you are live and in person is simply better, than when it is restricted to only the words themselves. So next time you have a choice between sending a note, picking up the phone, or actually sitting across from someone, remember the value of human connection.