為新年立下志願:要真實

By Robert J. Tamasy

通訊界的革新令人驚嘆。我們可以用社群網站與朋友和同事保持聯絡,並和過去認識的人重新連繫上。電子郵件和簡訊已經成為人們喜愛的快速溝通方式。(舉例來說,這「週一嗎哪」就是藉著電子郵件,以超過20種語言傳給全世界的人!)

網路讓我們能藉著部落格與任何有興趣的人分享經驗與意見。Skype讓我們能透過電腦與千哩之外的人面對面交談。我們可以將影音檔案呈現在YouTube網站上,不論是為了娛樂或傳達嚴肅的信息。當電話沒人接聽時,總是有語音信箱接受留言。

誰知道下一個通訊科技的突破會是什麼?那些通訊科技都非常有益處,也很實用,但是都缺乏一個重要的面向:人性觸動。有一個老廣告標語說:「伸出手去接觸某個人。」在發簡訊、電子郵件、寫部落格,或甚至留言在語音信箱時,並沒有多少真正的「接觸」。

研究調查發現人們溝通時,只有7%是用言語表現,意思是93%是非言語的:視線的接觸、身體語言、手勢和臉部表情、語調、說話的速度。。所以當我們發電子郵件或簡訊,我們許多訊息都不見了。不僅如此,溫柔的碰觸、友善的笑容或眨一下眼睛都只能當面親自表達。在這個愈來愈不人性化的世界,這些「非語言」幫助我們說:「你不是無名小卒。我知道你存在──而且你是重要的。」

所以當我們面對新的一年,可能一個有意義的志願是成為更真實──更少虛偽、做作。不論我們是否有最後期限要趕、有壓力和緊湊的行程,當別人有需要時,我們都決定要「到他身邊」。關於這一點,聖經有一些有用的觀察:

親自在場的影響。當我們親自在別人身邊,我們不僅可用言語溝通,也透過個人的榜樣強調了我們的訊息。耶穌基督了解這個原則,聖經說祂「就設立十二個人,要他們常和自己同在,也要差他們去傳道」(馬可福音3章14節)。

在一起的激勵。當我們在一起,有相同的使命感,我們就可以彼此鼓勵,互相啟發。「又要彼此相顧,激發愛心,勉勵行善。你們不可停止聚會,好像那些停止慣了的人,倒要彼此勸勉…」(希伯來書10章24-25節)。

人際互動的教導。花時間在一起,在職場肩併肩工作,我們可以分享智慧,挑戰彼此的創意,並幫助彼此在專業上成長。「鐵磨鐵,磨出刃來;朋友相感也是如此」(箴言27章17節)。

享受電子通訊的方便吧。但請記得,人們面對面,彼此視線的互動是無可取代的。

勞勃.泰默西是領袖資產協會的傳播部副部長,這是一個總部在美國喬治亞州亞特蘭大的非營利組織。他也是一個有40年經驗的退休新聞工作者。他寫過一本書「最佳狀態的商業:箴言給今日職場的歷久彌新智慧」(Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace)。他也與David A. Stoddard合著一本書「導師之心」(The Heart of Mentoring)。要了解更多資訊, 可上網www.leaderslegacy.com 或上他的部落格www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com以及www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com 。

省思 / 討論題目
哪一種電子通訊方式對你有最大的影響?在你的事業或組織上的影響呢?以哪種方式影響? 本文作者說電子通訊的缺點之一是缺乏我們互動中的「人性觸感」。你對此有何看法? 你可以如何努力將非語言的溝通加入你職場中的人際關係中?你認為這是件重要的事嗎?請解釋。 關於人際互動和溝通的哪個聖經原則對你而言意義最重大?為什麼?註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
箴言16章24節;傳道書4章9-12節;以賽亞書43章4節;使徒行傳13章2-3、42-48節;腓立比書4章9節;提摩太後書2章2節

RESOLUTION FOR THE NEW YEAR: BE REAL
By Robert J. Tamasy

Innovations in the world of communications have been wonderful. We can use social media to stay in contact with friends and colleagues and reconnect with individuals we know from the past. Emails and texting have become a preferred way to communicate quickly. (Thanks to email, for example, this “Monday Manna” is reaching people in more than 20 different languages all around the world!)

The Internet has given us blogs through which we can share experiences and opinions with anyone interested in reading them. Skype is one way we can connect face-to-face with people thousands of miles away via computer. We can present videos on sites like YouTube, whether to entertain or convey a serious message. When phone calls are not answered, there is always voice mail.

Who knows what the next communications breakthroughs will be? They are extremely beneficial and practical, but all lack one important dimension: personal touch. An old advertising slogan suggested, “Reach out and touch someone.” There is not much real “touch” involved in texting, sending emails, writing a blog, or even leaving a voice mail.

Researchers have determined only about seven percent of communication is verbal, meaning 93 percent is non-verbal: eye contact, body language, gestures and facial expressions, tone of voice, the pace we speak. So when we send an email or text, much of our message is missing. Not only that, but a gentle touch, a friendly smile or wink of an eye can only be exchanged in person. In an increasingly impersonal world, these “non-verbals” help us say, “You are somebody. I know you exist – and you are important.”

So as we look ahead to a new year, maybe a worthwhile resolution would be to become more real – less artificial. Determining to “be there” for other people, despite our deadlines, pressures and tight schedules. The Bible has some useful observations about this:

The impact of personal presence. When we are in the presence of others, we not only communicate with words, but also underscore our message through personal example. Jesus Christ understood this principle. The Bible says He “appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach” (Mark 3:14).

The inspiration of being together. When we are together, having a common sense of mission, we can encourage and inspire each other: “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

The instruction of personal interaction.
By spending time with one another, rubbing shoulders in the work environment, we can share wisdom, challenge one another creatively, and help one another grow professionally. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

Enjoy the convenience of electronic communications. But remember, there is no substitute for face-to-face, eye-to-eye human interaction.

Robert J. Tamasy is vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. A veteran journalist, he has written Tufting Legacies (iUniverse); Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today”s Workplace (River City Press); and has coauthored with David A. Stoddard, The Heart of Mentoring (NavPress). For more information, see www.leaderslegacy.com or his blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions
Which of the advances in electronic communications has had the greatest impact on you? On your business or organization? In what ways? What is your reaction to the comment that a drawback of electronic communications is a loss of “personal touch” in our daily interactions? How could you strive to incorporate more non-verbal communication in your workplace relationships? Do you even think that is important? Explain your answer. Which of the biblical principles about human interaction and communication seems most significant or meaningful to you? Why?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review additional passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Proverbs 16:24; Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Isaiah 43:4; Acts 13:2-3, 42-48; Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 2:2

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