Phone Calls Work Better

By Chuck Sink | February 12, 2024

Pick up the phone and get it done now.

Or send an email and wait.

Does sending an email put the ball in their court or does it expose your procrastination? Of course, it depends on the situation, and it’s important to prioritize our communications.

The person asking this is a huge fan of email. Email provides me the opportunity to clearly record my thoughts and instructions for others. Clear, concise emails from associates give me good direction and clarify expectations. But that’s just me, and maybe not you or the people I send emails to. I err in expecting thorough review and detailed responses from everyone I work with. Email doesn’t work for everyone. Emails are silent and often get buried, sometimes forgotten. It’s generally the same with text messages. They may get more attention, but still, it’s “tag, you’re it…” Phone calls aren’t like that. They produce more.

When you know something is important to you and another party, having an immediate, live, 2-way conversation is your best path toward the best outcome. On the other hand, agonizing over the exact words to write in an email or even a text so you get the important points across is a waste of time because email tends to muddy your thoughts anyway. So, pick up the phone! What’s keeping you?

Appointment to “jump on a call?”

If you’re going to jump, why not just dial? That’s right, pick up the phone and call the person you need to communicate with. Why do people ask for appointments to make phone calls in recent times? Am I really that old? How did businesspeople get so much stuff done before smart technology complicated our relationships?

I believe the reason people rarely just pick up the phone is fear. Fear of not getting through, or lost time, or having to engage someone and be immediately accountable to their questions, is what keeps some of us from simply calling our business associates when important questions arise.

More Conversations = Better Collaboration

Calling up vendors or customers or colleagues whenever convenient was commonplace for over half of my career. In my recent business, it’s making a comeback. Calling without an appointment is neither rude nor imposing. If the other person is busy, they don’t have to take the call. Even if they are busy and take your call, you have advanced the ball. Chances are that your call is as important to them as whatever else they are doing at the time.

If I see a call from someone I know coming in, it’s my duty to answer unless I am legitimately committed to something else at that moment. I no longer let it go to voicemail. Answering those calls as well as making such calls and getting through have resulted in some of the most productive moments of my work life. What’s your experience with making and receiving phone calls lately?

As I look at my busy work schedule, I’m realizing I’ve got some calls to make. How about you?

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