Communication is not a waste of time

Since the beginning of the year I have seen significant articles saying that

  • Meetings are a waste time
  • Emails are a waste time
  • Instant messages are a waste time, and now
  • Phone calls are a waste time

It seems like the authors are coming to the conclusion that communicating with other people is a waste of time.  Well, that simply is not true.  Communication is the key to success in not only business, but in life.  So why is it that people see all these ways to communicate as such a waste of time.  One answer is that uncontrolled communication can overwhelm anyone, and another is that poor communication can at best be frustrating, and at worst cause more problems than it solves.  But I think the real reason for this feeling that communicating is a waste of time is a lack of appreciation for the basic human need to interact with others in a productivity driven business world.

People seem to think every interaction and every communication has to have a purpose; it needs to be productive.  Well, maybe the purpose could be getting to know someone or just listening to someone who needs to vent.  It’s amazing what can be accomplished when people actually start to care about each other, and people never learn to care about each other if they aren’t communicating.

So maybe we all need to worry just a little less about being productive every minute of every day, and be willing to “waste” some time every now and then.  In the end we may find that we are accomplishing a lot more as a team than as a bunch of productive individuals.

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