Etiquette, respect and communication… out the door

Posted Thursday, July 24th, 2014. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I really don’t know what is happening to our world. I am not just talking about the millennial youth, a group that people often want to target as disrespectful, lack of communication skills and having no etiquette. This also applies to the older generations. While in many cases you may be right, I have seen young kids act more mature than their older counterparts.

From my observations, my age group (Gen X) and even Boomers are embracing technology however some have forgotten about the rules of engagement. What I mean is that our group and the Boomers have embraced technology so much so that it feels at times like we have thrown traditional and successful means of communicating, building relationships and even etiquette out the door. I have seen this not only in my personal life rather also in my professional life.

We are using technology to create an arms-length “safety zone” with respect to relationships and I believe this is a cowardly way to deal with people. People no longer feel the need to be upfront. There is such a lack of integrity and respect in this world.

When I worked with this national company one of the complaints is that when the employees applied for an internal job the HR area didn’t even bother letting the employee know that he/she did not get the position or the reason why. We are talking about an internal position forget about today people applying from outside. The message is ‘you are not worth our time to respond to’. This can be very disheartening and demotivating especially when a company says they value their employees and training, growth and development. How is that employee to learn if he/she does not know why they did not get the job?

Now don’t get me wrong there is a place for connecting through a well-intentioned social media campaign where people align with your vision and Y. The larger problem is that we don’t want to risk rejection or failure and because online activities gives us access to so many people, especially in the dating world, there is always the next best thing.

My real fear is that we have lost the art of communicating and building relationships of substance and meaning. We are seeing the unfortunate results of this void especially in the online dating world. For many youth they do not know any different and believe that dating this way is normal. Rather than reject (in a nice way) a person, people just ignore or disregard you and often if they respond it’s by text or email. To me this is such a cowardly way to behave. For the younger people this is all they know. We, the older generations, are not demonstrating how to forge healthy relationships. Relationships take time and need nurturing.

Just one more thing I want to deal with in my life skills workshops — forging and building relationships.

This weekend when you are about to pick up your phone to text someone something that is meaningful or even concerning ask yourself, “Would it be more meaningful if I pick up the phone and call them so they can hear my voice? Or better yet, how about face-to-face.” Our actions and body language can have more impact and say more than any words. A hug at the perfect time to cheer me up is way more meaningful than a text saying “thinking of you”. Of course if you are not in the same location as the person you wish to reach or they are out or at work, then this may be the only alternative.

I want to wish everyone a wonderful weekend.

All my love,

Sandra

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