Direct Communication Works Best
I geek out over project management software. (Love you, Teamwork.) Fancy tracking tools, color coding and clever icons make me so happy. Much of my day is spent reading emails, responding to message threads about projects, creating digital notebooks to document important details…the list goes on and on. I mean, having an email thread or Slack channel for every project is handy for tracking details.
But, no digital communication technology can replace the efficiency of a phone call or a face-to-face interaction. When it comes to true collaboration among stakeholders, talking directly by phone or face-to-face is best. In fact, I’d argue that in many cases, it’s the most efficient way to get work done.
Prevent the Mis’s
I’m referring to “misunderstandings” and “misperceptions.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a client’s email and completely misunderstood the message. I’ve learned over the years that if I have to read a message more than once and it still doesn’t make sense, call. I give the same advice to my team.
Brevity prevails in digital communications. So, messages sound curt. Being me – an introverted over-thinker – that grumpy tone can send me off the rails. I’ll start digging into our project message threads trying to determine if something has gone wrong. In reality, body language and tone of voice just can’t be properly communicated in a short email. A quick call or face-to-face meeting can save a lot of time and stress.
Let’s call each other more often. Let’s use our conference rooms and video chats to get our work done. I may be an introverted over-thinker who takes comfort in hiding behind a computer, but I believe that speaking in-person or on the phone saves time. Direct communication leads to a more collaborative environment and can cut down on those mis’s. Technology makes communication fast and easy, but it should never be the only way we interact with one other.