The latest Ofcom report revealed that we now use our mobile phone more for sending text messages, email and social networking than for talking. How very very sad. This data presumably based on social communications is mirrored by how we communicate at work. Choosing the wrong communications media is often one of the major causes of email overload.
Go into any office and all you hear is the clatter of the keyboard. Nobody talks any more. Gone is art of conversation. Text and email are lean thin communications channels devoid of all emotions and feeling. Moreover they are blinkered and present tunnel vision as discussed in a previous blog.
|Ways to communicate effectivley from ‘Brilliant Email’ by Monica Seeley|
You miss the opportunity to pick up all that extra rich information and gossip, for example what other project the client is working on, who is about to be fired, potential budget cuts. When you talk (face to face or by phone you can sense from the tone and facial expression how the other person is feeling. This additional information is as I was taught key to developing the client relationship (and indeed any relationship).
Email is often the cover up for much deeper problems a point made by Lucy Kellaway in her ‘Dear Lucy’ column today.
The Ofcom report highlighted the increasing use of mobile phones for social networking above talking. Is it little wonder that a recent CBI report found many young people lacked adequate business communications skills.
There is a time and place for text messaging. It is great for short ephemeral messages eg train delayed. However we must remember it is only a messaging systems not a full blown rich communications medium.
Your goal should always be ‘right message right first time and especially if you want to improve business relationships and as a spin off reduce information and email overload.