Pick Up the Phone – PUTT
How we communicate with other employees, customers, and key people is essential.
Close teamwork and cooperation in getting our jobs done well require effective communication with others in the most time-effective way. Modern technology has made it easier for us to rely on “written text, chat and email” to deliver our messages to others.
However, sometimes the best way to connect with others is by talking directly with them. Face-to-face conversations with others, if they are nearby, can lead to faster two-way sharing of our ideas and get us to a solution quicker than written messages. If in-person discussion isn’t practical, the next best way to be sure our message is understood and helps others is a phone call (PUTT).
Written communication can often be the optimum way to exchange data and information or relay short messages. However, we only send words and numbers when the message is written. When we talk with others directly, we connect at a higher level. We can add volume, tone and emotion to make our communication clearer. We usually can’t do that with words and numbers alone.
Sometimes the smallest action, or inaction, can affect how we feel about others. Technology allows us to stay connected in a fast-paced environment, though can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.
Imagine that you emailed or texted a coworker days ago and they haven’t replied. You might think the person is being rude, but they may be under a tight deadline and already feel bad about the delay. We encounter these minor but meaningful situations all the time, which is why it’s important to consider their broader context before jumping to conclusions and PUTT. Remember, it takes a lot more effort to clear up a misunderstanding in an email than to pick up the phone and prevent the confusion in the first place.
Speaking to someone personally allows you to build rapport and understanding. PUTT makes communicating the feelings behind the words easier and reduces misunderstandings.
Here are some advantages to PUTT:
- Talking to a live person breeds trust and authenticity. It proves that you’re genuine, and that the message you wish to convey isn’t spammed. And trust is priceless to our company culture.
- The phone allows you to listen and build on others’ contributions more efficiently and facilitates more personalization, which is crucial today.
- Helps to build a solid relationship with the person you’re calling.
- Lowers the risk of being misunderstood. If you misspeak, you can immediately address the situation.
Here’s when the email is best to use:
- Quick questions that take faster to write than to call.
- Follow-ups where you don’t want to appear too aggressive or pushy. Collogues can answer at their convenience.
- When you need a written record of the correspondence.
- When discussing or introducing a very detailed and complex series of steps that are important to have in writing to refer to — such as new procedures or instructions for software.
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