The power of the unplugged word

What is the power of the unplugged word?

Have you ever misinterpreted an email or text – or worse yet, not received the message at all – and decided that the sender must be mad at you? Have you sent countless messages back and forth, trying to clarify the intent or content of the original message?

We lose so much when all we see are words on a screen. We cannot hear the voice, note the body language, or maintain eye contact with the person on the other end. We quite often determine for ourselves the emotions and the intent behind the message. And we quite often are wrong.

The unplugged word carries the power of empathy, of listening, of feedback and focused response, none of which are possible through texting, emailing, tweeting, or any other form of electronic communication.

Technology can be a good thing, of course, when used appropriately. We use a piece of technology to make a phone call. In that phone call, though, we can hear – and relay back – emotions and intent. Customer service reps are taught to smile on every call because that cheerfulness will come through in the rep’s voice even when the smile can’t be seen. Anger, happiness, confusion, clarity are all quite evident in a caller’s voice, leaving little room for misinterpretation or miscommunication.

Unplugged words are spoken face-to-face and on those calls. Unplugged words are written with pen and paper. Unplugged words carry the power of true communication, from one human to another.

 

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