With new devices and more technology vying for our attention, it’s incredibly easy these days to replace human interaction with screen time. But does that mean conversation has lost its touch? I’ve noticed more and more how face-to-face conversation has been replaced with a constant flux of emails, tweets, and other endless one-way chatter. But when we rely only on text to substantiate conversations, both personal and in business, the message and intention behind the conversation starts to suffer.
Although there have been many technological advances in the form of communication, in-person conversations still hold much power and are a crucial part of our wellbeing. A conversation can invoke emotion, establish bonds between you and others, and can make or break a first impression, business deal or team meeting. While we benefit from the speedy nature of conversations when using technology, what we miss are non-verbal communication cues that help build trust and establish better relationships.
Another key to valuable communication is actively listening when engaged in a conversation. When someone concentrates fully on a conversation, considers the content, and demonstrates an understanding of the message, the person on the other side feels valued. So much of the time, we only focus on what we want to say next that we forget to pay attention. We miss facial cues and body language critical to understanding the intent behind the message. Learning how to approach dialogue from a point of engagement and connection leads to more creative problem-solving and perspective.
So much of how we learn as a company involves how we converse – and how we handle the flow of information. At The True Life Companies, we’re all about “conversation”. We encourage the discussion of new ideas, the revisiting of old ones and seeking lively discussion on a daily basis. Every day chatting is encouraged, so team members build rapport and receive social support that is critical to our culture. At the end of the day, we don’t just want to tell the world why our mission is important to us, we want to show them through a personal connection that comes from great and meaningful conversation.
It’s the heart of our business and how we build trust, inside and outside of the office. From personal meetings with each of our investing partners to in-person city council hearings where we engage with our communities, our goal is to share information, educate and create a connection that brings value. When we meet with someone new it’s our opportunity to show who we are, what we can do to help them achieve their goals and reinforce why they’re making a good decision getting into business with us. Our team focuses on the value we can bring, versus meeting any personal objectives.
We believe that conversation can change the world. Let’s all take the challenge this season to bring value to our conversations with an open ear and mind for change.