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What Impact Our Phones Have on Developing Relationships

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Dale Carnegie 

I recently read this amazing book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, by Dale Carnegie, and this raised the question in my head as to what impact our phone would have on developing relationships.

Using the workbook content from Mentor Box to review this book, I focussed on identifying the positive and negative impacts that our phones have on the following factors:


  • Understand — People like to answer questions about themselves; it makes them feel important. 
  • What to do — When talking to someone, ask as many questions as possible. Go down the rabbit hole with them.  Get to know them as deeply as possible.

    Impact of our phones

    • Positive: Our phones can aid us in connecting with people quicker, from anywhere, at any time, as well as allow us to freely ask as many questions as needed.
    • Negative: Communicating through our phones can become transactional and sometimes impersonal. Many times, important information is lost in translation whereas face-to-face questions can carry a lot more weight and depth in understanding.


  • Understand — You can’t cultivate a legitimate connection with someone if you don’t take the effort to listen to them.
  • What to do — When you’re in a conversation, BE in the conversation. Be present and listen intently.  Try to learn something on every encounter.

    Impact of our phones

    • Positive – You can connect easily and talk about anything.
    • Negative – You are unable to see body language and would have to interpret what is being said by gauging the tone of the person’s voice, which in some cases, can be misinterpreted.  You can become easily distracted and not listen with intent.  


  • Understand — All arguments are just two people who haven’t yet agreed on a compromise.
  • What to do — When in an argument, strongly empathize with the other person. Ask yourself, why are they right and why you are wrong? Get to that middle ground as fast as possible.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive – You can deal with the issue straight away without delay. One could get to a middle ground quicker.
    • Negative – Face-to-face conflict resolution will assist in achieving a quicker real outcome. The value of looking into someone’s eyes assists in making sure of where their intent lies.


  • Understand — If you make a mistake, at work or at home, don’t hold onto it. Don’t hide it.  It will come back to haunt you.
  • What to do — When you make a mistake, immediately fess up to it to all appropriate parties.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive – If you can’t meet straight away and resolve, our phones can help hugely to right the wrong.
    • Negative – You may think that the mistake is sorted, however, there could be a complete misread of the situation. How sorry are they and do they really mean it?  


  • Understand — When a subordinate (or anyone) makes a mistake, DO NOT point out their error publicly.
  • What to do — In a private conversation, let the person know how they can improve in the future. Make it a teaching moment.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive – One could get a message out to multiple people, based on a scenario where someone has dropped the ball or handled a situation incorrectly, pointing out what should have been done and avoiding another incident like it in future.
    • Negative – A group message could ruin a relationship should the person feel that their mistake has been made an example of. 


  • Understand — People like people who are honest in their forthcomings.
  • What to do — When you make a mistake, especially if you’re the boss, make it public. Own it and tell everyone what you’ve learned as a result.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive  You have the ability to be vulnerable with a large audience and gain credibility.
    • Negative  Being able to share the story face-to-face allows you to get the point and details across a lot better than over a phone or in a text.


  • Understand — There is no effortless way to jump from novice to mastery. It takes time and birth pains along the way.
  • What to do — When a subordinate (or friend) makes some progress towards a larger goal, reward every step in the journey.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive – Allows you to recognise their efforts and achievements quickly and clearly.
    • Negative – Do you really mean what you say or are you just providing lip service through the message? Actions show intent.


  • Understand — No matter how well you’ve done or how well you continue to do, never lose your hunger.
  • What to do — Keep practicing your listening skills, growing your self-ownership and giving your best every day.

    Impact of our phones
    • Positive – You can connect easily and tell people you care.
    • Negative – Losing that personal connection that comes with face-to-face time, can sometimes feel like you don’t care enough to invest in the relationship.

If we want to make loyal friends, we must put ourselves out to do things for other people.  Things that require time, energy, unselfishness and thoughtfulness.


If you want to be a good leader, you need to focus on achieving the below:

  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation.
  • Call attention to people’s mistakes gently, indirectly and privately.
  • Talk about your own mistakes first before criticising others.
  • Ask questions instead of giving direct orders (it not only makes an order more palatable it often stimulates the creativity of the person you ask).
  • Let the other person save face.
  • Praise the slightest improvement, praise every improvement.
  • Use encouragement.  Make the fault seem easy to correct.
  • Make the other person happy about doing the things you suggest.  No one likes to feel he is being told something, we much prefer to feel we are acting of our own accord or ideas.

Be sure to get your hands on this life changing book or listen to the free audio version on Spotify.

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