It’s been a long time since we had a chance to chat. I haven’t forgotten about you, don’t worry. I have just been so caught up in my personal dismay that I felt there was nothing I could share right then.
But here I am again. While I wanted to keep this blog as professional as possible and post only things related to my technical interests I will allow myself this digression. So here it goes.
I was recently reading on my iPad(yes, I am one of those people) a Wall Street Journal article about the use and misuse of the salutation “Dear” in modern day epistles. The article was mainly focused on the decline of this salutation; people seem to feel it is a lot too intimate to use nowadays in formal communication – others feel it is an antiquated practice to welcome your reader with “Dear”. In any case, I still use it and love it but I do agree that given the current norm I will absolutely refrain from using it with a person with whom I only have a professional relationship. But let’s move on.
The point on which I wanted to focus on this post before I got distracted, like I usually do, was the importance of being an eloquent communicator. It’s my opinion that many arguments are won by people who best express their opinion. I also feel that technical people seem to have an issue with natural language communication. Maybe we feel it is imperfect and unable to convey as fast as possible the thing we are trying to express. Maybe it’s that. Or maybe it’s the fact that spending so much time along side a computer we forget that humans process information slower than machines. Whatever the problem, we need to overcome it. By “need” I actually mean “should”. Nobody needs to be doing anything on my account. I often find myself frustrated with not being able to communicate. I find myself a lot more eloquent when talking to a keyboard. That is simply not how it should be and by no means does it help one’s happiness. But there is a more dire matter here. Being communication impaired leads to some social awkwardness mainly in the form of not being able to relate to people outside our professional field. There are many reasons why that is bad. But simply put I believe that the most successful people are also the ones that can express themselves better then the rest. And why shouldn’t they? They can actually convey ideas to the world, the whole world not only a group of people familiar with their jargon. And this is, in this day and age, a part of being brilliant in your field.
It’s easy to get distracted away from the world, its people and everything else when you are hooked to a computer screen. I know this very well. So I urge all of us (should you be reading this) to think about improving our communication skills. It might not be the stuff that win wars but it could very well be one of the best skills to have in this Internet connected and globally disconnected age.