What’s the best way to communicate when you need to deliver bad news?
When your message is complex?
When you’re trying to land a new client?
(Hint: It doesn’t involve a keyboard.)
Technology has made it easier than ever to communicate. From texts to social media posts, IMs to emails, it’s now possible to have entire conversations without ever seeing or hearing the person you’re supposedly “talking” to.
But as we all know, the easiest way is not always the smartest way. When it comes to communicating with your clients, prospects and staff, a face-to-face or telephone conversation is often the best choice. Here are a few of those occasions:
- You need to discuss a sensitive subject. Ideally, all sensitive work matters (both good and bad) should be handled in person. When that isn’t possible, the phone is your next best choice. Unlike digital communication, the phone is intimate and allows you to truly connect with the human being on the other end of the line.
- You want to build a business relationship. If you’re trying to attract a top candidate or land a new account, phone time and face time go a lot further than texts or emails. Think of it this way: if you only ever emailed your family and friends, how strong do you think those relationships would be?
- Your message is complex or long. If you have lots of information to share, the phone is the best choice for several reasons. In general, people don’t like to read lengthy emails (and may not even read them in their entirety). In addition, email doesn’t instantly allow you to confirm the recipient’s understanding. Finally, emails may not yield immediate responses. Talking on the phone, on the other hand, is a full-duplex, real-time means of communication that saves a ton of time.
- Someone asks you to. When you’re on the phone with someone, and he asks you to call him right back, do it! Sending a text or email instead can be construed as rude. Something was obviously important enough for that individual to pick up the phone and call you in the first place; return the professional courtesy and call him back.
- Your message may be misunderstood. Emoticons may be cute to some, but they don’t convey emotion or tone accurately. No matter how many smiley faces you use, you always run the risk of a seemingly innocent text, tweet or email being misconstrued. So when the message is important, never rely on an emoticon to convey your tenor or intention.
The next time you’re about to write an email, stop for a minute and ask yourself: “Could I get better results with a phone call instead?” If the answer is “yes,” then step away from your keyboard. Pick up the phone and use your voice instead!
At A.R. Mazzotta, we understand the importance of face time and phone time. From in-person interviews to on-site visits, we make an effort to get to know every candidate and client personally – yielding higher quality matches and better staffing results.
Call us to learn more about our staffing services for Connecticut businesses.