Pick Up the Phone – Three Advantages to Making a Call
By Greg Simpson on June 11, 2013
In the age of electronic messaging, a phone call may seem anachronistic – an outdated mode of communication that is largely unwelcome by the recipient. And in the workplace, that sentiment is growing.
A reader recently posed a question to Ask a Manager that clearly reveals her annoyance when her phone rings: “Can I stop taking phone calls at work and direct everyone to email me?” While this strategy bluntly takes it to the extreme, many of us can certainly understand why email is often preferred. An email message may be sent quickly at any time of the day or night – without getting bogged down or side tracked by a phone call that could go off into a million different directions. Nevertheless, there are times when a phone call – and the discussion it fosters and ideas it can generate – is the better choice.
Here are three advantages of a quick phone call:
- Create clarity. If you’re engaged in an extended volley of emails on the same issue, chances are a quick phone call will clear up the confusion.
- Build relationships. One-on-one conversations stimulate ideas and encourage diverse viewpoints. Moreover, the art of brief “small talk” – so important in networking and building relationships – can’t be practiced in an email.
- Increase understanding. A telephone conversation comes with nonverbal indicators (a sigh, laugh, pause) that disclose how your message is being received.
The best communicators mix it up and adjust their modes of communication to fit the circumstance or individual. If you’re locked exclusively into one method, you could be showing your rigidity. And in today’s workforce, flexibility is paramount.
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