It seems that everyone wants to send an email or worse yet, a text message, rather than pick up the telephone and talk to someone. Certainly that is the case with those who are younger and relatively new to the workforce. Yet I find it also to be the case with the vast majority of those in business. Quite frankly, I find it frustrating and a hindrance to quick and effective communication.
How many times has this scenario happened to you? You receive what looks like a relatively straightforward email. However, you do have a couple of questions for the sender. After sending a reply asking for clarification on a couple of points, you find that the reply answered a couple of items but actually created another question. The process repeats itself. After three or four more emails, and a lot of lost time, the “communication” is accomplished… I guess!
I feel that perhaps a phone call of less than five minutes could have accomplished the same thing much more efficiently. In addition, a few pleasantries could have also been exchanged. Maybe a couple more pieces of business could also have been conducted saving a future email or two. We all get so many emails that I think we would all welcome a few less.
I find it ironic that most of the same clients and suppliers that we now communicate with solely through emails were initially developed in face-to-face meetings with follow-up telephone calls. It worked pretty well. It probably still would, and perhaps further the relationship if we gave it a chance.
I would suggest that if an email requires more than one reply, it would be best to pick up the telephone and discuss it in real-time. If you get a quick response, the person is probably sitting at their desk anyway. A system that was originally developed to speed up communication, many times lengthens or worse yet, hampers it. As the old AT&T commercial once said, “Reach out and touch someone.” Hopefully it will become habit-forming.