The Telephone: Text or talk?

Does a text get more done in less time?  Does it ease the frustration of multiple back-and-forths, does it reduce misunderstandings? Does it increase opportunities to build trust and productivity? It is harder and harder to get someone’s full attention in today’s workplace and we often confuse communicating efficiently  (140 characters) with communicating effectively—a face-to-face meeting (click to see the 10/7 daily in the Archive) or a well-planned-out telephone call (see 8/27 tip) .

Over the summer I wrote several daily tips (including 7/25 and 7/26) on how to make a professional and productive telephone call during a job search.  Well, remember your smart phone is also a “smart” networking tool to get real work done in real time.  Here are three points to consider when wondering whether to text or talk:

  1. The tone, inflection and hearing the speed of someone’s voice conveys feelings and interest more than any written text can do.
  2. A phone call (when done in a business-like and friendly voice) helps show competence and credibility by confidently, caringly (and yes, crisply) identifying and clarifying the relevant info, discussing and analyzing a wide range of ideas, staying focused on and solving the right problems, making timely decisions and gaining cooperation and agreement for the action required and follow up steps to be taken when the call is completed.
  3. Using the telephone is a management tool not a technique. To make it work effectively and efficiently, most of us have to have the patience to learn and be willing to practice and sharpen this important skill.
  4. Texting is great for confirming information and appointments, or for asking “quick questions.”

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