Pick up the phone

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Why is it so hard to pick up the phone these days? The quality of business communication is becoming very poor as people avoid phone calls and face-to-face meetings in an often misguided quest for efficiency.

I recently had a client defending his handling of a staff member who caused a small problem by saying “I don’t know why they didn’t understand the issue. I must have sent a dozen lengthy emails recently about the subject”.

I swiftly explained that a brief conversation followed by a concise email would have probably prevented the issue within a few minutes, and saved him time in the process.

It’s always much better to walk and talk rather than sit and type. Don’t get me wrong, communication methods such as email, instant messaging and skype have changed our lives for the better but sometimes it’s much more efficient to pick up the phone or talk in person.

Why not pick up the phone? As technology has evolved, so has business etiquette. As I’ve said, people tend to rely primarily on email and text messaging because these communications are precise and less disturbing, while a phone call now signals that a matter can’t be solved by ordinary means.

To break down this new barrier to effective communication, make face-to-face employee contact part of everyday life in your office. If you’re not doing it, you are missing out on one of the most inexpensive and effective management methods around.

Relax and have fun, ask questions and listen.


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