I received a long email about an important project last week. I had a few questions about the email and decided to just call the person who’d written to me to go through my questions. We had a 10 minute conversation that would almost certainly have required 8-10 emails.
I do this once a while but don’t do it nearly as often.
A similar thought had crossed my mind earlier that day when someone I knew texted me with what could only be described as a pretty heavy discussion topic. As I let that discussion play out in my head, I realized that there was no way I’d get through the work I needed to get done if I spent time texting. So, I suggested that we better discuss this in person and ducked out.
I think the insight for me is that we often unconsciously tie ourselves down to whichever channel we receive communication in and don’t question if that would be the right place for continuing it. Having so many possible channels is a blessing simply because we can tailor the communication to the right channel. That only works if we use it well.
A wiser friend regularly responds to emails that require a long response with a phone call. Of course, this may not work for everyone at every time. But, he has a point. Sometimes, it is just better to pick up the phone.