Perhaps you’ve been in the situation where you’ve either batted emails or instant messages over a period of a few hours to finalise something simple.
You realise that the issue could have been resolved in a five minute phone call. But sending a text seemed convenient … but as the day wore on and as the conversation dragged, you saw that it was a mistake.
While your message, in itself, is important, sufficient thought should be given to how the message is communicated as well. You want for it to be effective for you… but it should also be such for the recipient.
For example, when entering a protracted discussion about a transaction or agreement, it’s better for such discussions to be discussed within the body of the document, preferably with ‘track changes’ on. If you don’t use colour or tracking to indicate your changes, you’re expecting the other party to read through the entire document to try to figure out where the changes are being made.
It is also preferable to have changes/suggestions within the document itself, instead of say, within an email or series of emails. Putting part of the discussion in another channel means that both you and the other party need to shuffle between two different areas where these discussions are stored. Should there be inconsistencies between what is written in the email and what is within the document, these may not be so quick to identify.
Generally, if you feel that the information or decision you need is one that can be finalised quickly, the best mode of communication is via the phone for instant clarity.
If you know how you feel about something or you’ve made a decision about it, make that clear as soon as you can, to the other party. WIthout visibility into the same issues you consider or possessing the same mindset, the other party is not likely to see things the same way you will. Making your stand, as clear as you can, helps the other party decide their next move as well.
With communication channels now opening up in a such a diverse way, with the ability to have long-distance calls at a fraction of the cost it used to be (or for free), our options are pretty limitless.
Things are becoming easier to do but ease of conduct may not always be the biggest priority for every communication.
This is part of a series of 20 posts on How I Ensure I Respect Your Time.