On the high altar of technology, where does "high touch" come in? Or does it?
As computers become faster and iPods become smaller, the art of the personal touch catches short shrift. American work cultures still tend to the bottom line at the expense of the lives of workers. There's enough data out there to substantiate such effects upon productivity and worker morale.
A respected friend/colleague, Susan Smyth, from my coaching years in Cincinnati, takes this position:
"In a society in which impersonality and self-centeredness are now so common, I often wish that I could convince more of the people in the organizations with which I consult, that showing their hearts and applying the human touch can provide a huge boost to work relationships, to performance, and to customer satisfaction."
I lifted these words from a well-written article Susan wrote in the Dec. issue of her organization's newsletter. You can read the full article, Holiday Spirit: A Major boost to Performance All Year Long, when you scroll to page 7. I smiled and silently cheered when I read Susan's words- YES, YES! The word has gone out - we have hearts and we gotta show we got 'em!
Susan describes how unexpected kindness, caring, and thoughtfulness (typically uncommon in the workplace) can have powerful positive effects. She concludes her article with 3 simple ideas we as individuals can use to bring this high touch spirit into the world. Susan Smyth, by the way, is Director of Consulting Services for METS (Metropolitan Education and Training Services) in N. Kentucky.
My daughters (21 & 24) can run circles around me when it comes to technology, but I have taught them from pre-school years to write thank you notes for every gift they receive - birthday, Christmas, graduation etc. They have done this task reluctantly for many years, but acknowledging gifts with a written note has finally become a habit they do with greater ease. One small step for a kinder, gentler world I say.