Is IPR Really Better than CSR?

I read an article recently detailing the differences between an In-Person Relationship (IPR) and a Cyberspace Relationship (CSR). Aside from my initial frustration with more acronyms to be aware of, the subject intrigued me because this discussion is a current hot topic for all types of families today—personal and corporate.

While virtual interactions between people are nothing new, the propensity to depend upon email, texting and twitter over “old fashioned” interpersonal connecting is. More and more people are sending virtual messages rather than actually sitting down, face-to-face and developing relationships with each other.  The problem with this is that computers and cell phones are tools; they will never replace time spent “in person” building a great relationship.

At LEADon, we point out that emails and texts are fine for short, fact-based information to be sent to and from members of your Corporate Family—but important issues and individual relating should be done during “face time.” Why? In part because humans are wired for In-Person Relationships. Plus, we need to see facial expressions and body language as well as hear tone of voice to truly communicate and make satisfying connections (communication is comprised of 93% body language and other non-verbal cues while only 7% is represented by words).

Like most busy leaders, you may be wondering what this In-Person Relationship Quotient looks like—and will you have time for it? Here are some thoughts:

  1. Meet with people in their offices, on their turf. A short “pop in” visit is not only less formal, but it also gives you an opportunity to see how they roll on a daily basis.
  1. Instead of an email to someone off-site, set up a Skype (or your preferred visual format) session. It’s not quite the same as sitting down over a cup of coffee, but you’ll add 93% to the communication piece you’ve been missing.
  1. Speaking of coffee, when was the last time you scheduled a meeting in a more causal setting? Rather than texting, try getting together somewhere for lunch (everyone has to eat) or a quick beverage. Some leaders we know take a stroll with a colleague to process information, allowing for some extra exercise as well as in-person connecting.

After decades of “people-helping,” members of the LEADon team can assure you that In-Person Relationships win out over Cyberspace Relationships every time! Developing this leadership skill set will not only make you a better professional, but you’ll also discover more personal satisfaction in all of your relationships.

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