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A good call – pick up the phone to improve communications

Sending email is easy — too easy sometimes. Emotion and critical points can be hard to convey. Pick up the phone to reduce risk.

We’ve all seen an email thread gone awry. It usually starts with the best intentions but disintegrates into a testy, awkward exchange where nothing gets resolved. These occurrences can be destructive to morale, relationships – and careers.phone

It’s a daily challenge:  an urgent, somewhat emotionally-charged message comes in and we want to reply. And this has become far too easy thanks to our smartphones. At the time, it might seem like a good idea to jump into the discussion.

But be careful:

  1. Tone and context are easy to misread. Emotion just doesn’t translate, even with emoticons and the nuclear option of ALL CAPS and exclamation points!!! A conversation allows for voice modulation and inflection, and humorous stop and go’s that relieve tension.
  2. It’s almost always better to wait and sleep on it especially if there is some controversy. In conversation, we’re more practiced at ‘biting our tongue’, and seeking understanding rather than winning.
  3. There is a diminishing return in an email debate. The back and forth often goes on beyond usefulness. There’s also the danger of creating so much frustration that it shuts down all communications. A conversation just makes it easier to gain some consensus and move forward immediately.

When to make the call:

  • When there is serious disagreement.
  • When emotions are high.
  • When parties haven’t spoken for a long time due to schedules, proximity or department silos.

Making a phone call takes a little more time, but it can make all the difference in creating problems — or solving them. Pick up the phone to improve communications.

Have a great week.

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