SOURCE: onPoint Communication

onPoint Communication

September 17, 2009 10:24 ET

Shrinking Attention Spans Are Damaging Communication Skills

Multi-Tasking & Information Clutter Are Leading Causes of the Decline, New Study Finds

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - September 17, 2009) - It's almost unanimous: 99% of business people agree that attention spans are shorter today than 3 years ago, and this is having a damaging effect on verbal communication skills in the workplace.

That's according to a new survey by Connie Dieken, a leadership communication coach, Emmy® award-winning journalist, and author of the upcoming book, "Talk Less, Say More." ( The book is aimed at professionals looking to gain influence and improve communication skills ( in today's attention-deficit world.

Dieken's survey of 400 business professionals offers a modern look at how communication skills and attention spans are linked. According to respondents, the major consequences of shrinking verbal skills are:

--  Limited success in winning or increasing business (82%)
--  Weak relationships with colleagues and peers (72%)
--  Diminished ability to manage and motivate direct reports (69%)

"Interpersonal skills are plummeting at an alarming rate. The results of this survey are a wake-up call to the impact that shrinking attention spans are having on our ability to lead and influence others," said Dieken. "There's been a dramatic decline in how people are relating to one another and, as a result, people are tuning each other out, ruining relationships, bombing job interviews, and tanking presentations."

Multi-tasking (such as checking e-mails and voice-mails or texting during face-to-face communications) was selected by 93% of survey respondents as the leading cause of today's declining skills. The second biggest contributor (said 54% of survey takers) is that it's become much more difficult to break through today's overwhelming clutter of information -- a phenomenon which Dieken calls "communiclutter"® -- to convey clear messages that don't overload others.

"I'm on a mission to rewrite the communication playbook in our distracted, impatient world. This new book is loaded with specific tips on how to improve communication skills by talking less, but saying more," Dieken said.

About "Talk Less, Say More"

"Talk Less, Say More" is a contemporary guide to 21st century communication, helping people improve communication skills and become more influential in today's attention-deficit world. It is written by Connie Dieken, a leadership communication coach, multiple Emmy® and Telly® award-winning journalist, and founder of onPoint Communication, LLC. Visit for more information. It will be released in September 2009 by Wiley.

Contact Information

  • Contact :
    Connie Dieken
    E: Connie (at)
    P: (440) 930-8500