On 4 Dimensions in People
People are not shallow or stupid (OK, some are, but humour me here).
Having done a fair bit of reading and cogitating over recent weeks, the issue about effective communication between people has been vexing my mind. There are piles and piles of articles about how communication can be better and why we’re becoming less adept at it in this hyper-connected world.
The theory I have come up with is that we’ve become so accustomed to dealing with people on a two dimensional (2D) basis that we’re absolutely attrocious at dealing with people in a four dimensional (4D) way. Allow me to explain.
In our office, I see our crew spending heaps of effort sending emails and telephoning people. Sure this is convenient and somewhat effective, BUT, does it really get you the results that you are desiring (for both parties to the conversation)? Liaising with a 2D monitor, mobile phone, tablet or the like gives the impression that you are achieving things. I believe this is wrong.
During my recent 1:1’s with my crew, I spent a bit of time with the younger, “connected” folk to explain to them that the 2D methods that they are really comfortable with aren’t as effective as 4D approaches. The 2D focus has come about from the ubiquitous presence of social media and is creating pressure on people to react rather than respond.
I had better explain the 4D approach:
You deal with the person in person (ie: 3D), but you “invest” in the fourth dimension with them – time
Personal interactions are far more effective as you can gain a far greater understanding of not only what is being said but also what is not being said (body language, tone, focus of attention etc). By utilising this approach, you will be far more informed about the person you are dealing with and will be able to work with them to achieve the outcomes and results that are desired.
It saddens me when I see people at a restaurant supposedly dining together sitting focussed on their mobile phone or other device. This constant distraction cannot be healthy and I read somewhere a while ago that the average teenager now has an attention span of 8 seconds (a goldfish gets to 9 seconds). How are these younger folk going to be able to make meaningful contributions to their family and society if they can’t concentrate on anything for more than a few seconds?
When you consider the really valuable relationships you have with people, I would hazard a guess to say that most of these have been achieved by having personal (face to face) contact and spending time with them. It is for this reason that I believe we need to focus back on having 4D relationships.
By spending the time and making the effort to develop more 4D relationships, you might just find that people aren’t shallow or stupid and the quality of those relationships will improve markedly.