Pick Up the Phone. Call.

"Kellogg" brand "candle stick&q...

It’s easy to do in our digital world; send the email or text, respond via text or email back and forth and before you know it the thread has 7 or 8 back and forths.

Do something different; pick up the phone and call.

Or do what I do – send a note to ask when the person’s available to take a call and call them then.

While email and text are often handy, the medium suffers from low bandwidth to deliver rich context and nuance.  Even with the advent of emoticons – those smiling / frowning / happy faces – email and text is a communication modality best left for short and binary (e.g. pizza with anchovies or not?).

There’s good data that suggests the sound (note this does not mean leaving a voicemail) of a live voice can be more impactful and effective than an email and while it’s often “inconvenient,” bad news and good news is best delivered with a voice than text/email.

Things like hiring someone – or firing someone – are best done via voice (and preferably in person on the latter) rather than communicating via text.

So do the smart thing when it’s important or semi-complicated. Pick up the phone and call.

Life Back West is an occasional set of writings focused on ways people, teams and organizations can be both more effective (doing the right thing) and more efficient (doing the right thing well). More about executive, career and team / leadership coaching services can be found at the “About J. Mike Smith and Back West, Inc.” sidebar or the “Hire Me” tab. You can also read an online interview with me at WhoHub.

“Kellogg” brand “candle stick” style telephone from c. early 20th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)