I’m tempted to parody Lionel Richie this week: hello…is it me you’re looking for..? This week’s been weirdly full of communication clashes on several fronts; most able to be resolved in the same, single way – by talking.
Why must people try addressing problems by email, sms, or worse – from letter? It’s just too brief and perfunctory to truly address issues, let alone feelings, but ideal for avoidance and seeming aloof – not very conducive for building relationships, expressing concern or care.
This week I responded to a frosty email, tackled a mistake and kicked a butt, all by calling. Not everyone liked it, but each job got done, fast, and in every case we fully understand each other by the end. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t relish it or have time for making calls but I wanted clarity and outcomes. Calling to talk usually does that better than an email trail, unless you think you need the written record – but then we’re really talking about another problem, aren’t we?
Personal communication is the best means for effectively checking whether you’re aligned with someone else and you can glean a lot from someone’s tone, semantics, phrasing, pausing and even breathing. It’s even better if you can talk eye to eye – especially if you then agree to disagree! If nothing else, you can surprise someone by calling personally and that may be enough to start over. Finally – firing, quitting or breaking up by sms is just lame. I’d call you on that.