Do Conversations Still Matter?
By: Randy Wolken, President & CEO

Do conversations still matter?  With the advances in technology we can communicate with anyone in the world in 140 characters or less.  It’s efficient.  It fits our any-time-of-the-day schedule.  We can certainly get a lot done.  However, do we?  How much do we really accomplish by being this efficient?  I am convinced that we miss a lot by relying on so called “efficient” communications.  So, yes, conversations matter a lot!

Think back to some of the most impactful moments in your life and career.  Was there a conversation involved?  I bet there was.  When you succeeded – someone pulled you aside and praised you – and told you how and why it both mattered and prepared you to do it again.  If you failed, someone who really cared for you sat you down and restored your faith in yourself – and gave you some insights into how to learn from the experience.  Times with family and friends – truly memorable ones – involve free-flowing conversations, stories, and laughter.  Yup. Conversations do still matter.

I am convinced, more than ever, they make a big difference in the workplace – a very big difference.    Without, these ever-important conversations we miss the necessary highlights and changes every person and organizations must make to remain competitive and stay in business.  As a leader, we must identify – and practice – critical and crucial conversations that move our teams and our companies forward. Or, we will get left behind.

In fact, almost any good conversation requires most of the 10 skills needed to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution we are currently in:

  1. Cognitive Flexibility
  2. Negotiation
  3. Service Orientation
  4. Judgement and Decision Making
  5. Emotional Intelligence
  6. Coordinating with Others
  7. People Management
  8. Creativity
  9. Critical Thinking
  10. Complex Problem Solving

Helping people learn how to have effective – not efficient – communications will be the hallmark of great leadership in the 21 Century.  Much, like it has been for centuries before.

With this in mind, MACNY has begun offering what I like to call “conversations with leadership legends.”  Who are these people?  MACNY’s Wall of Fame winners.  They are those nominated by peers and selected by previous winners who are models and examples of legendary top leaders in our most iconic – and successful – technology and manufacturing companies throughout our region.  I have had the privilege of having conversations with many of them.  Such a conversation is truly remarkable –and memorable.  Just spending time with them inspires me.  Their struggles, successes, life philosophies, and just plain “humanness” are all amazing.

We have created an opportunity for you to witness and participate in one of these conversations. Please join us on June 22nd for our upcoming Wall of Fame Conversation Series with Jim Beckman and David Freund. To learn more or to register, click here.

As a leader, I know that meaningful, passionate, deep, critical, and overall amazing conversations certainly do matter! I hope you agree.