An Email Conversation

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She wrote, “I would like to get the chance to speak with you further.  Please let me know when might be a convenient time for you.”

He wrote, “My schedule today [Friday] is wide open, so whatever is convenient for you will be fine with me.”

She wrote, “How does Tuesday at 11am work for you?”

He wrote, “Tuesday at 11am works fine. Do you want me to come into the office or are we speaking by phone?”

He waited.

He waited.

He waited.

He called and left a message.

And he waited.

And he waited.

And he waited.

Monday afternoon at 3 o’clock the issue was resolved. By email.

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That is a verbatim transcript (without the images) of an email conversation I had. Words matter. You may have heard that here, but sometimes spoken words matter more than written words.

A phone conversation would have resolved this appointment in 5 minutes, prevented any miscommunication, and provided a foundation for a better formal call.

Too often I see people in the workforce trying to do the job only by email. We once had a young woman attempt to set up an entire event for 150 people in a city two time zones away without ever making a phone call. Not to any vendors or the hotel or participants or sponsors. It took her five times as much effort, and we only resolved several major issues at the last minute.

Why did she do this? Because people hide behind email.

Pick up the phone. Reach out and touch someone.

Postscript: The Tuesday phone conversation lasted less than ten minutes. We could have done it Friday and would have been 2 working days ahead of schedule. That ain’t peanuts.

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