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New Year: Use Technology to Build Relationships

January 6, 2016
As I start the new year I can’t help but think of what I can do better, what my company can do better and what changes would make the most impact. The more I think about the idea the more it comes down to one thing…RELATIONSHIPS. 
 
People do not talk anymore.  I know we are busy, but collaboration and innovation take time.  It seems we don’t take that time like we should.  It kind of reminded me of the old Genesis song “No Reply At All.” 
 
Talk to me, you never talk to me.
Ooh, it seems that I can speak.
I can hear my voice shoutin' out.
But there's no reply at all.
 
Sure we get replies and sometimes we don’t.  But when we do get replies they are very deliberate, well thought out, carefully dissected, cleansed answers.  Much of the time they reflect politics of the organization, a carefully constructed image, and a delayed response. These messages are one-way, not interactive. Sometimes you receive them too late to utilize the information in them.  
 
We do not see each other anymore. We work with people all over the globe and it can be challenging. Trust becomes the issue for many because technology creates a barrier between people. Sometimes people find it easier to be rude and aggressive via technology.  But mostly people long for face time especially when they are in the field. Again the lyrics from that same song felt apropos…
 
Look at me, you never look at me.
Ooh, I've been sittin, starin', seems so long.
But you're lookin' through me
Like I wasn't here at all.
No reply. There's no reply at all.
Be with me. Seems you're never here with me.
Ooh, I've been tryin' to get over there.
Oh, but it's out of my reach.
And there's no reply at all.
There's no reply at all.
 
It is funny how a song about a relationship gone bad can reflect the overuse of technology. People need personal connections. Relationships are what are important. Technology should support our relationships. 
 
So my goal is to better support my relationships at work and at home. I know it will be a challenge, and that technology may be an easy scapegoat. But I will try to use technology to support my relationships. 
 
Is anybody listenin'?