In 2006, I was involved in the telecommunications industry installing and configuring IP phone systems. During that time, I transferred my cell phone service to Verizon Wireless, one plan for my Ohio number, the other plan for my California number. Since the great telecom breakup and deregulation, individuals are allowed to keep your phone numbers. So, I carried both of my numbers from Sprint to Verizon.
At any rate, when people see that I have two cell phones, they tell me that I must be one heck of a communicator. I really had trouble understand the nature of the comment until I ran into another telecommunications vendor. His comment to me was, “You’re in telecom? So am I. Good to see another fellow in the communications business.”
Something to keep in mind. Telecommunications is not communications.
Telecommunications is a technology play. As a communicator, I can leverage technology to extend my communication power to other media, to greater distances, and to reach more people. Technology, however, doesn’t make a person a good communicator. I’ve seen some pretty bad communicators get hold of some pretty good technology and do some major damage because they felt that technology made them a “good communicator”.
I picked up a tape a while back 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 it makes you more of what you are.”
We can say the same for technology. It simply makes you more of what you currently are.
If you can’t express your thoughts and ideas in a compelling manner, having a cell phone, an IP phone, email or Instant Messaging won’t help you move the masses.
If you’re a terrible communicator, a cell phone will only allow you to do the same amount of damage or more at a greater distance while you are driving in your car.
On the other hand, if you have an excellent command of communication principles and can effectively motivate people, then video, IP phones, and email can be used effectively to lead, motivate and inspire many people anywhere in the world.
With email, IM, VoIP, cell phones and other collaboration technologies that we have at our disposal, the one thing that can actually make us better communicators is perhaps a little one-on-one coaching in how to talk with other people.
Invest in yourself. Invest in enhancing our own ability to communicate with other people and you will be a lot better at leveraging the latest communication technology.