Why Can’t They Just Pick Up the Phone?

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“Why they can’t just pick up the phone and call?” asked the man, a local business owner attending a Saint Paul Chamber meeting. The furrow between his eyebrows deepened.

Earlier, I had asked him, “What communication challenges have you seen in your business?”

He told me that the greatest challenge for his business was employees relying almost exclusively on email to communicate with clients. The problem, as he saw it, was that it seemed like his employees would rather spend days going back and forth dealing with an issue via email than pick up the phone and have a real-time conversation that would resolve an issue more quickly and with less confusion.

Email has several advantages, including convenience, traceability, elimination of phone-tag, the ability to carefully think out your communication, etc., but when is it time to step away from the keyboard and pick up the phone?

Consider using the phone when you need to:

-Get or give an immediate response
-Resolve a simple situation quickly
-Cut through confusion
-Negotiate
-Discuss something confidential
-Understand shades of meaning conveyed by tone of voice and immediate responses
-Apologize for something “big.”
-Deliver really bad news

Your thoughts?

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About Diane Windingland
I speak for organizations that want their people to have better, more profitable conversations.

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