Five “Old School” Business Communication Practices Still Relevant Today

old school communication

Since the first iPhone was released in 2007, the way we communicate in business has changed dramatically. Back in the day, meetings were held face to face, and participants were not distracted by phone notifications.  There was no way to google anything during a meeting, so if you didn’t remember the name of someone’s spouse, you could not be “saved” through a quick social media search.  People arrived on time and dressed up for work events, even wearing uncomfortable ties and high heels. 

By contrast, today’s smartphones mean we can text, email, and zoom in from anywhere at any time. Is there value in the “old school” communication practices from 25-45 years ago?  Consider these five “classic” communications and how they might bring value to your business today.

#1: “Old School” Phone Call Communication

A phone conversation has several advantages over email or text communications.  One advantage is the ability to convey a clear tone. If you are happy with a project, you will sound happy, for example.  A phone conversation can also save time when an immediate response is needed. If you have ever been a part of a long texting strain with someone, you know how  easy it is for something to get miscommunicated.  Use the phone over text especially when a conversation gets heated.  Sarah LeFleur, CEO and founder of M.M. LaFleur advises picking up the phone to clear up potential issues: “As soon as a conversation starts to get complicated or gnarly, phone is a much better medium to communicate. In addition to reducing the risk of irritability between colleagues or clients, it shows how much you care about the project at hand (fastcompany).”

#2: “Old School” Face to Face Conversations

Clients who use Artemis sometimes tell us that they have a gut instinct about a new hire after meeting them face to face.  When we are face to face, we are able to observe body language confidence.  We see eye contact and posture.  We observe someone’s ability to think on their toes and be social in simple conversations.  These soft skills add value to potential new hires.  If you are interviewing, be sure to connect on a personal basis with your interviewer.  Simple conversations that happen face to face can also lead to future business collaborations.

Other non-verbal communications like shaking hands, laughing over lunch or happy hour, or the simple act of smiling are ways human beings bond to each other and build trust that is essential to business. 

#3: “Old School” Handwritten Note Communication

A handwritten thank you note to a colleague can be better received than posting a thank you on social media or sending one by email.  Using handwriting means that there is no secondary agenda because nothing can be forwarded or seen by others.  It is a more personal connection because of the uniqueness of each person’s penmanship..  

The tactile use of the hand is also good for memory recall.  Taking handwritten notes during a meeting helps us better process the information.  Nate Checketts, CEO and cofounder of Rhone, writes down a recap of each of his days in a notebook.  This way, he can better process his day and see where he needs to make progress.

#4: “Old School” Practice of Being Present

Without the distraction of today’s technology, people can more easily focus on the task or person at hand.  Being present means listening without interruptions.  It means refusing to take a call during a conversation because the person you are with is the most important thing going on at that time.  Deciding to put a phone away during a meeting is a sign of respect to the person leading the meeting.  

#5: “Old School” Practice of Being on Time

Because it is so easy to text a group that we are running late, we feel that it is acceptable to push things back as long as we communicate to those affected.  But time is still wasted and others are still kept waiting. “Sixty years ago, it was important to keep commitments because there was often little opportunity to reschedule on the fly,” says John Coleman of Harvard Business Review. “But even with the advent of always-on technologies, being on time is important. It keeps us focused. It generates a perception in others that we’re reliable. It shows respect for other people, and it can decrease the costly impact of wasted time.”

Whether it’s modern or “old school”, Artemis Consultants believes in good communication practices. In fact, it’s one significant reason why our clients keep coming back. Contact us to learn how our executive staffing services can help you find the right talent for your current or pending staffing needs. 

-Written exclusively for Artemis Consultants by Business Content Writer Mellody Melville

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