We make trade-off decisions every day. One of the more consistent and obvious trade-offs we make is the decision of quality vs quantity. Whether it is a bottle of wine, a business suit, an evening meal, or a piece of furniture, there is a decision being made around whether we prefer quality vs quantity.
We mentally perform the Ben Franklin decision making process of seeing high quality as being more expensive, taking more time, and usually more enjoyable as compared to high quantity which usually means, lower cost, faster service, and a little less satisfying. We weigh both sides of the ledger and then make the choice.
Our hope is that we can maximize the benefits of both quality and quantity. Today’s free market is the most effective system to help us achieve both high quality items made at sufficient quantity to keep costs low.
One of the trade-offs we make very often today is around communication. The technological advances over the last decade or so have made the choice for quantity almost too appealing and easy to see any other choice.
An important area on how we can continue to build and strengthen our character is in the critical choice we make around how we communicate.
Communication experts would tell us that most of what we communicate is not what we say, but the tone and body language in our delivery. We see that truth every day in families hustling through a busy schedule, in the expression of the waitress in the coffee shop, and the greeting towards a potential customer in the marketplace. We can all say “Hello” and “It is nice to see you,” but our tone and body language carry the weight of impact in that simple message.
When it comes to having meaningful and lasting impact on another individual, there is no substitute for face to face communication. The outcomes that stem from a quality vs quantity choice could not be more striking than in our communications to have meaningful and lasting impact:
- Difficult conversation in the workplace are not handled well on an email or voicemail. We make enormous progress on trust and reconciliation when we have the courage to communicate face to face.
- Strained relationships within families rarely find health in a text message. We bring healing to pain and anger within families when we demonstrate mercy and grace to gather around a table and communicate face to face.
- Frustration in our communities does not move toward a deeper understanding through a social media post. We grow in understanding and health when we take the time to meet and communicate face to face.
Quality, face to face communications take time and a great deal of courage and effort. They afford us the most effective opportunity to have a meaningful and lasting impact.
When it comes to individuals and causes we believe are most important, we face a critical choice around how we communicate during difficult situations.
As we take the time and effort to communicate face to face with those we care about most, we will build and strengthen our character and Character Creates Opportunity® for us to make meaningful and lasting impact especially in our homes, our communities, and the businesses we are building.