Your email “conversation”:
I can meet at 9:30 on Tuesday. How about you?
No, that won’t work. How about Thursday at 11? Does that work for you?
Nope, I’m busy but I can meet at 3PM. How about you?
Sorry, I’m booked all afternoon. What else looks good for you?
And on and on it goes.
Email is supposed to be fast and convenient, right? If that’s the case then why is it that so much time is wasted going back and forth over and over again to make a plan or decision that could probably have been reached in one tenth of the time if only someone picked up the phone!
Many say that “no one is at their desks anymore and it is simply easier to reach people by email.” But is that really true? If you’re emailing back and forth with someone they are most probably available to take a brief call.
I find that these time-wasting back and forth emails can be stopped by making a call and getting the answer right then and there. Simple, 30 seconds and you are done. Nothing to it.
Here are some other reasons why the phone call might be the better option:
350 emails and 6 calls per day
Sure emails are convenient and maybe that’s why our inboxes are always flooded. It’s very easy for your email to get lost in the shuffle and so if there is something important that you need to communicate it’s a much wiser decision to make a call instead. You might not be able to reach the person but your voice mail message will get heard; after all, they don’t get that many calls per day!
Do your words communicate the right message?
Writing is difficult and many people find it hard to get just the right tone in their emails; an “innocent” email might be misunderstood just because of “how it sounds” to the recipient. Remember that once it is “out there” it’s there for good. The recipient might read the email, get the incorrect impression and get irate. There is less opportunity for miscommunication over the phone or in-person.
Need to settle a disagreement? The phone is best.
Minor disagreement or small, the phone is best to resolve a problem more amicably. Going back and forth with email tends to just confuse the situation and the participants in the “conversation” often lose track of the original matter being discussed.
If you’re like me and old enough to remember a world without email (!), you’ll remember that many of the issues that now take hours or even days to handle with email were once resolved with a quick phone. I’m not a Luddite suggesting that we dispense with technology; I’m just saying that before you find yourself engaged in a lengthy email volley or sending an email that might potentially get you into “hot water,” you might want to consider picking up the phone instead!