I love texting, emailing and messaging. They’re so easy, simple and convenient. The typing is done on my schedule as opposed to someone else’s. Responses are so quick and simple. A handful of quick key strokes and the message is sent forth. So simple and efficient!
Calling or meeting in person isn’t nearly as expedient. You start off with pleasantries. Typically the conversations go longer and sometimes go in unexpected directions. They take so much more time than a simple message or text. When you close the conversation there are more pleasantries exchanged. So much more time is taken up than in a short text.
All that said and out of the way, today I’ve had several reminders on why actual conversation is so much better than its electronic equivalent. In an effort to speed things up and get more done I’ve caught myself relying on less personal forms of communication to get things done. When I stop and think about itI’m floored by how much longer some things have actually taken and how often there is a lack of action after the communication.
Over the past week I’ve taken time to look at some very interesting data from some of my various teams. In analyzing their phone call activity I’ve been able to clearly see that levels of success are almost directly in alignment with the number of phone calls they make. To be clear, as I hear Becky’s voice in my head, correlation does not mean causation. With that in mind I can’t say they are more successful because of the number of calls they make, but there is more than a fleeting correlation of high call numbers to success in their roles.
Personally, I had an excellent reminder of that while talking with my mentor this morning in our weekly call. As I explained a particular challenge he helped me peel the layers back and we quickly determined that the solution required more personal communication. At the root was a reliance on formats of written communication that hit everyone at once and were not personalized. Moving forward I will not make that mistake again.
Put all of these pieces together and I’m reminded of just how powerful actually conversation can be. Electronic communication has its place, but it should be the exception more than the rule. Today will stick with me for quite some time.