Getting lost in social media mania is easy, with all of the different technologies to choose from these days. The ease and convenience of texting, instant messaging and online commenting has brought the entire world together…but our connections have suffered for it. 

Defining your role as a leader in your field requires presence and the ability to cast your vision for others to follow. And while the electronic platforms of today allow us greater reach, it is the skills and customs of yesterday that can allow us to bridge the gap and truly lead, inspire and connect our peers and customers. 

We’re going to focus on some basics that are powerful, effective and most importantly, will help to get us the results we are looking for–more effective communication that leads to a warmer and stronger relationship with one or many. Remember, none of these are meant to replace or nullify any effort or progress you’ve made on the electronic playing field. These are ideas to add to your ‘social toolbox’ to allow you to strengthen your overall skill set. 

 

MAKE A CALL INSTEAD OF TEXTING OR MESSAGING. 

Sounds simple, right? Never underestimate the power and warmth of the human voice. Leaders know that the nuances of a message can be lost in the sterile punctuation (or lack thereof) inherent in a text or instant message. Emotion is difficult to convey through text alone. When you want to connect in a meaningful way, a phone call communicates sincerity and importance in our fast-paced society. 

 

 

 

PARTICIPATE IN EVENTS. 

Attending events is what most people do, but it is the leaders who arrive with purpose and a plan. A social gathering allows you to have a face-to-face visit with many people at once. It allows a leader to make impressions and gain new insight about both peers and strangers alike. Relationships can be forged through simple conversation and the sharing of viewpoints and concepts. Leaders arrive with both engaging topics, and the ability to be excellent listeners. You are there to engage, not overpower. 

 

 

 

WRITE A NOTE. 

Nothing conveys powerful recognition as thoughtfully and effectively as a handwritten card or short letter. It is an art that is embraced and practiced by all leaders in all industries. The ability to convey thanks, congratulations or share a great idea is amplified tenfold when the recipient gets to read it in this format. A message delivered like this creates a moment of contact that is not easily forgotten, and is all too often underused, because of dependence on electronic messaging. 

 

 

 

BE PRESENT IN CONVERSATIONS. 

Leaders hold sway over the attention of others because they do not allow distractions to get in the way of the process. When you are in an audience of one or several, you must focus intently on what they are saying. Leaders have mastered the art of ‘active listening,’ because it means they are focused on the speaker’s message without formulating a response in real time. Computers and cell phones are ignored. Interruptions from others are not allowed. Leaders grant the gift of disciplined attention to any person or group they are engaged with. 

If you can incorporate some or all of these precepts in your personal and business life, you will be rewarded with richer and more meaningful relationships. Leaders must always be growing, searching and learning to communicate with others more effectively. Where you go, ultimately, others must follow. While electronically connecting is fine, the human touch remains the gateway to building strong personal and business relationships.