10 communication lessons from our grandparents

Online slang and shorthand, a decline in courtesy, and the omnipresence of smartphones has hurt our interactions. Try these ‘olde tyme’ techniques.

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My grandfather passed away a few months ago, and he was one of my closest friends and confidants.

Not only was he very successful personally, but he was also my mentor in business in how he genuinely cared about the well-being of his employees, family, and business partners.

In a word where everyone sleeps with a smartphone, and maintaining relationships with friends and family via social media networks is the norm, I’d like to propose we turn back the clock on how we communicate with one another with a few lessons from the older generation.

1. Create a “phone free” atmosphere.

Whether at the dinner table with family or friends or in a board meeting, put your phone on silent, put it away, and listen to the conversations and engage uninterrupted. You’ll be amazed at what you retain when not multi-tasking.

2. Give in-person positive reinforcement.

Is a team member “the bee’s knees”? Tell them in person. Look them in the eyes, and tell them you appreciate them. An email can’t replace a smile and a physical pat on the back.

3. Disconnect after work.

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