When it comes to communication in business - have we all gone completely nuts?

I am a mother of two teenage girls. They both have the ability to multi-task and when it comes to technology they know things that surprise even me, and I thought I was pretty techno savvy! Recently I asked my 16 year old why she just doesn't pick up the phone to talk to people like I do. She looked back at me as if I'm a freak from another planet who is in desperate need of a brain transplant!

A couple of weeks ago she ran out of phone credit. Having had my purse open for her all through the school holidays, I informed her I would not buy her any more credit until she got a job. The performance that followed was gob-smacking, and my agent's mind quickly saw her on stage receiving her Oscar

As well as owning Coyote, I also work as a recruiter and interview many of the Y Generation. Part of recruiting involves reading hundreds of CV's. Usually I can tell before I even look at the CV if it's from a Y Gen because it will have something like this as a cover letter (that's if it has a cover letter of course): hi im interested in this job call me if you want to talk to me i can see u next week - yes, this could quite easily be an application letter for a position. They are not all like that of course, some are beautifully written and for those applications I do make the effort to ring them and tell them how much their letter impressed me, even if they don't fit the criteria for the position.

There have been times when I have received an SMS from some of my younger candidates - the only problem is often I don't have a clue what they have written - it's a whole new language! Only today my mother complained to me that my niece had sent her a couple of sms' but she had to tell her to stop using 'that language' because she didn't know what she was saying.

So let's get back to basics when it comes to communicating

It's not just the Y Gen's who have based their communication around technology, it seems that most of us are guilty of relying too much on communicating in any way rather than personal contact. As a saleswoman, I build my client base on personal relationship building. Here are my thoughts on how we can start bringing back the personal touch in the business world.

Deal with your emails a few times each day. Either respond straight away, delegate it, dump it or file it in a folder with a reminder set up so you do reply. Sometimes I video email people overseas to put a personal touch into the correspondence. Try not to totally rely on email, sometimes pick up the phone to reply, it shows you actually have time for this person.

Pick up the phone
Next time you want to make an appointment, say thank you, congratulate someone or wish someone Happy Birthday etc - pick up the phone. Use your voice instead of the impersonal email or text message. This builds a good rapport. I'm not saying do this always, but try and do it sometimes. It is quite rare for me to receive a phone enquiry from a candidate who is applying for a position, however when I do, that candidate does get my attention and time.

It's just so easy to screen calls and hide behind voicemail these days. It's bad enough when we phone a company and have to listen to 'press 1 for sales' etc. Try and answer your phone whilst at your desk. This is good for customer relationships. CEO's should take a walk around their offices at impromptu times just to monitor how many of their staff actually use voicemail when they are sitting at their desks. Voicemail was designed to take messages for people away from their workspace, not as a means of hiding from them. If you can't pick up the phone then try and make it a priority to ring people back.

Customer Service
In my opinion, customer service is the best marketing tool you have. So much better to have your customer's singing your praises than badmouthing your company. It's not hard to go that little bit further to help people. A smile in your voice goes a long way. When I recruit for a receptionist I am constanlty reminding them how very important their role is. First impressions make a big difference and a snooty receptionist can cost a company many dollars in lost sales.

Hand written cards
Sending a thank you note the old fashioned way makes a big impression these days. I have boxes of cards on my desk ready for me to quickly write a thank you or congratulations. I have also had some personal postcards made for when I meet people and want to follow up. It does make an impression.

Be generous with your time
We are all busy but it doesn't hurt to give someone who is not having such a good day some of your time. If a colleague is having a bad day go buy them a coffee and bring it to them with a smile.

Smile and Laugh
So what if you are under stress at work, that doesn't give you the excuse to be rude and grumpy. Smile and laugh with your colleagues or clients - it can make such a huge difference.

Be on time and don't cancel appointments
Being late is the ultimate sign of rudeness. Just because you are running late doesn't mean you can keep someone else waiting and waste their time. Likewise for cancelling appointments at the last minute, unless you do have a good excuse.

Always work with the best of integrity and values. It will come back to you in a positive way.

To help Generation Y's to communicate better in the corporate world, set up a mentoring programme. I have many mentor's, some are from the books I read and others are people in my life who I admire and take advice from. Some probably don't even realise they are a mentor to me. Becoming a mentor to a younger person is a great way to encourage their personal development and growth. A mentor can show a younger person how to become self-motivated, how to take constructive criticism, teach them about the corporate culture and become someone they can trust in the organisation whenever they have a problem and need some guidance.

Author's Bio: 

Debbie Carr is the principal of a professional speaker bureau, an author, professional speaker and recruitment consultant. She is passionate about helping people reach their full potential.