“You want out? You’re gonna have to learn to develop those communication skills”
-General Munro, The Fifth Element
In 2006, I worked in the telecommunications industry, installing and configuring IP phone systems. At that time, I carried two phones. I had a phone for my Ohio number and another for my California number. Now, when people saw that I had two smartphones, they said that I must be a good communicator. I had trouble understanding the comments until I ran into another telecommunications vendor. His comment was, “You’re in telecom? So am I. Good to see another fellow in the communications business.”
Technology Is Not Required To Be A Good Communicator
Here’s something to keep in mind. Telecommunications is not communications.
Telecommunications is about technology. As a communicator, I can use technology to extend my communication abilities to reach more people. However, technology doesn’t make me a good communicator. I’ve seen bad communicators use excellent technology to destroy relationships. And it happens because they felt that technology was an appropriate substitute for good communication skills.
Some time ago, I picked up a tape by Larry Diangi, one of Les Brown’s speakers. And on that tape, he said something about money that stuck in my mind. He said,
“…there’s nothing wrong with owning a lot of money. All money does is make you more of who you are.”
We can say the same for technology. Like money, technology makes you more of who you already are.
If you can’t express your thoughts in a coherent manner, technology will only amplify the confusion you create.
If you’re a terrible communicator, a smartphone will help you spread your misinformation at a greater distance.
However, if you have excellent communication skills, then you can use technology to inspire people anywhere in the world.
In today’s environment, we have email, text, VoIP, smartphones and other collaboration technologies at our disposal. However, the one thing that can make us a good communicator is coaching on how to talk with other people. That means not just knowing what to say, but also how to say it, and how you look when you say it!
So invest in yourself. Invest in enhancing your communication abilities and you’ll be better at using the latest communication technology.