With better communications do we communicate better?

Two things reminded me of my former  boss in the early nineties. He passed away last year (may Allah blessed his soul). One is about working beyond the stipulated hours and the other about speeches in front of a table full of food.

In those days minutes were typewritten on machine like this

On the former, he said, those who work beyond the stipulated hours are poor  managers. I was a green horn at the time and still could not fully grasped the meaning of his words. Those days  working hours were from 8.00am to 4.15pm on weekdays and 8.00am to 12.45pm on Saturdays. Yes, Saturday is a working day in those days, albeit only till noon. We hardly had meetings beyond 4.30pm. Fast forward 20 years, these days, meetings that started at 4.30pm is fast becoming a common practice. I already had two meetings lined up in early February that is going to start at 5.00pm and 5.30pm respectively. Echoing the word of the Prime Minister since becoming the PM, his days are becoming longer and his nights are getting shorter, I am also slowly falling into the pattern. With the working hours normally spent attending numerous meetings, I can only attend to the various in-house letters and memos well past 5pm. That means either I have to bring work home or stay in the office till I finish the jobs, which could go on  well past 7pm. That brings the question, am I a poor manager? Maybe indeed I am.

With better global communication, are we better in communicating?

Maybe in the old days we are better prepared for a meeting since everything has to be done manually. We took extra care to get everything ready beforehand. And we tend to make less errors in communication as it was quite difficult to correct them. With better communication equipment at our disposal these days we become a bit slack and a tad  careless. These days we should be better equipped to communicate at a faster rate and things should be better. But unfortunately it does not.  Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal wrote in the New Sunday Times today, ” despite having a plethora of information at our disposal, how efficient are we in making use of our cognitive abilities?” He questioned further ” Have we, through this hyper connectivity become better communicator?” I truly believe we are non the wiser despite tremendous amount of info and quick way of getting them. I do not know about you, but for me, I think I have to agree with Wan Ahmad Fayshal, we are still not able to tell the difference between  information and knowledge, knowledge and wisdom.

Well, you may wonder what was the other word of wisdom from my former boss? Well, if you are making a speech, especially if food have been served, it should like a skirt, long enough to cover the essential parts, short enough to make it attractive. There was a second part to his advice , but I won’t report it here as I could be charged as sexist as well as racist. You cannot be too careful in these fast global communication days. Many people have been taken to court over a seemingly innocent remarks

 

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