Old Style Communication Still Valid

Pat Seidel
Pat Seidel

Pat Seidel–who provides writing and presentation skills training for companies that want to improve their communication and image–told of a recent experience which illustrates that the old style of communication still has value, despite our contemporary fascination with technology. In Pat’s words:

“I recently attended a session on social media. I felt like a bit of an antique in the room. Everyone was blogging, tweeting, texting, and checking Facebook. I was taking notes longhand. Feeling a bit overwhelmed, I asked the woman next to me if she felt the same. She replied yes, stuck out her hand and said, ‘This is still one connection I trust. Hello, my name is Margy.'”

Bravo, Pat. . .you and Margy have given us a wonderful lesson. Face-to-face communication still holds the top spot among our options for interacting and getting messages across.

Be sure to visit Pat’s Web site, and contact her about the communication training she can bring to your organization through her company, Pat Seidel Training & Consulting, LLC:

While you’re on her site, check “Pat’s Pearls,” a list of resources she recommends.

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Why We Like, Even Love, the Social Media

Pat Rocchi in Action Speaking
Pat Rocchi in Action Speaking

Pat Rocchi, author of The Six P’s of Change shared his thoughts about the fastest-growing communication trend–the social media. With his permission, I’m pleased to share his insightful, entertaining ideas with you:

Everybody Tweets, or so it seems. Facebook has gone well beyond its collegiate roots, and now its largest-growing demographic comprises people above age 54 (much to the chagrin of people like my 23-year-old son, who thinks we Boomers have ruined FB). Business people worth their salt are on LinkedIn, where the average annual income is north of $93,000.

“What’s wrong?” some ask. “Don’t people just talk anymore?” Sure they do. They talk all the time, more than ever. And they’re doing it with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

I will tell that I am thrilled about these so-called “social media.” On one hand — the less important side of the matter — I am enjoying it as a professional communicator. All these outlets continue to help me sell copies of my book. I can inform my friends, family and colleagues of little developments, such as interviews or developments in its distribution. I can also keep many people up-to-date on every one of my consulting activities. And I now have a global reach, just as you do, whether or not you choose to use it.

But even this mercenary side of me, the part of me that likes to eat and keep a roof over my head, is not as thrilled about these media as the sentimental side of me is. That’s why they’re described as SOCIAL! My life has changed since I joined Facebook about two months ago. (Hey, no one ever accused me of being an early adopter.) I have come in contact with friends from literally 40 years ago. Thanks to Facebook, I had breakfast with my partners in crime, Vicki and Barbara, from college, concerts and other indiscretions of my youth. When got together, we saw photos of each other’s children for the first time, learned how we disconnected, and then learned how to stay reconnected.

I am in contact with my first love, the brilliant blond who broke my heart but taught me how to love, preparing me for the 30+ year old marriage I am in now. I can stay in contact with my long-lost family in Italy, sharing my life with them in ways our parents could only dream of. Even the son of my best friend from childhood is connected to me.

And why, I asked myself, is this important? Why do we have the need to do this? I turn to my friend and advisor, Frank Sergi, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and heart-warming mensch for some insight. He offered these thoughts.

“I remember reading years ago about a Jewish belief that said one is not dead until everyone who remembers that person is gone as well. Thus the grave site overgrown with weeds is that of a truly dead person. The person with flowers on their grave is still alive. It makes us feel very much alive when we realize that we have not been forgotten. If you are part of someone’s memory, you have been incorporated by that person because you have left an impression upon them. In essence you are now a small part of them, and therefore less alone and less invisible in this world.

“I think this is a significant part of the Facebook phenomenon. People need to feel that they are part of other’s consciousness.”

But what about this need to reconnect rather than simply being known, I asked Frank. “I believe has to do with nostalgia,” he responded. “A reliving of one’s past that is simultaneously recalled by the parties involved can be pleasurable even when it may be an embarrassing memory. Ultimately, we are social beings needing social contact and connections. We are such a transient society that we long for connections to our past. The Internet allows us to do that now, in a limited way of course.”

And of course, this fact has long been true, even when we weren’t so transient. It has remained so with every technological advance. Yes, people liked to visit in person at one time. But that was when we all lived closer to each other. When the telephone came into existence, did that mean that they cared less? Of course not; it was simply one more tool for connection. That was eventually supplanted by email, and now we have the social media. Thank goodness for all of these opportunities to widen our circle.

Okay, gotta run. I need to fulfill a primal need and distribute this virtual valentine to people I care about. And believe me, if you are receiving this, it’s because I care about you, too.

Again, thanks to Pat Rocchi for his reflections about the Social Media. Be sure to visit his Web site and order his book, The Six P’s of Change. The link to his site:

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