We Need to TALK!
by R&I Consultants
Connection versus Conversation
By Jill Kitchen
Welcome to the Risk & Insurance Consultants website . . . . finally, right? After more than five and a half years in business, the site is live and we are moving into other social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn). In the current climate of business, and our society in general, if you don’t have a digital footprint, it is as though you do not exist.
So, what took us so long? Honestly, I didn’t make it a priority. We have been blessed with loyal clients that show us their satisfaction by referring their friends and associates. We have been busy. We have been growing. Further, I like the hands-on, individual relationship approach that our agency has always believed in. I don’t want on-line quote requests to eliminate our opportunity to get to know our clients. My concerns were succinctly expressed in a recent article in the New York Times1, “We live in a technological universe in which we are always communicating. And yet we have sacrificed conversation for mere connections…the little devices most of us carry around are so powerful that they change not only what we do, but also who we are.”
Therein lies the problem: I don’t want to change who we are. Our personal relationships with our clients are one of the things that differentiate our organization. No matter how efficiently we all communicate via email and text, no matter how many people we connect with on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, it does not substitute for conversation.
This is not a new concern of the digital age. In a two-year old AARP Magazine2 article, another writer voices concerns about our society’s lapse in conversation. He quotes from a three-year old book3 by Jacqueline Leo: “We are so distracted by digital traffic that we’re forgetting the importance of listening – and of the listener.” This is echoed in the New York Times1 article: “…we need to remember – in between texts and emails and Facebook posts – to listen to one another, even the boring bits, because it is often in unedited moments, moments in which we hesitate and stutter and go silent, that we reveal ourselves to one another.”
This post may seem a strange launch of the Risk & Insurance Consultants digital footprint. We are very excited about adding another dimension to our communications toolbox. But doing so, gave me pause to consider the multi-faceted art of communication. Clients often tell us how grateful they are, and unexpected it was, that we spent time explaining and educating. Clients become friends, and in some cases as close as family. This all was accomplished with good, old-fashioned conversation; talking, listening, and building personal relationships of trust and mutual respect.
I don’t want to change who we are. Our website and all other social media will strive to educate and inform. They provide new outlets for those that don’t know us, to give us a look. But we still, always, want to TALK to you.
(1) “The Flight From Conversation”, by Sherry Turkle, published by New York Times, Sunday Review, Opinion, April 22, 2012
(2) “We Tweet, we text, we e-mail. Everybody’s chatting, but is anybody listening? Why America needs to revive the vanishing art of conversation. We need to Talk.”, by David Dudley, published by AARP magazine, March/April 2010
(3) “Seven: The Number for Happiness, Love, and Success”, by Jacqueline Leo, published by Twelve, December 2009
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