Saturday, December 1, 2012

When it's Important, Pick up the Phone.

“When it’s important, I pick up the phone”. I think most of us can attest to this statement, although some of us may have different interpretations of what’s “phone call worthy” in their life.  To me, it’s pretty simple, and here’s a short list of personal situations I encounter when a phone call is the only solution.

If written communication presents the opportunity for misinterpretation:  I’m sure most people can recall a time when an email or text message they sent wasn’t well received, or got blown out of proportion.  The recipient either misinterpreted what you were saying, or possibly, a grammatical or punctuation error made it seem like you were saying something you weren’t.  I’ve been on both ends of this spectrum, and although both incidents turned out to be minor, they were both stressful, unwanted, and time consuming.  

In the situation where I misinterpreted the email, I was left feeling angry and rattled.  What seemed like a condescending and disrespectful email, turned out to be completely innocent.  Although things between us are fine now, there was a time when the email caused tension in our relationship and took energy on both our parts to rebuild our relationship to its previous level.  

When the issue is time sensitive:  If I need an answer and I need it now, a phone call is the only method of communication I’ll use if I can’t walk up to the person and talk face to face.  In business and in life, there are situations that are extremely time sensitive.  Whether you’re trying to close a deal, meet a deadline, or find the answer to an important question, picking up the phone and making a call is the easiest way to get things done. 

Picking up the phone is also more convenient for the person you are calling in these situations.  Instead of having to spend time writing and proof reading an email, the person you call can simply provide you with the information you need and move on.  Win-win for everyone!

When the person is important to me:  This example relates more to personal life than business, but it’s still applicable in many situations.  If someone is important to me, I want to hear their voice.  I want to hear them laugh, I want to hear the expression in their voice, and I want to be in a situation where there is an opportunity to enjoy my conversation with the other person.  I think we can all agree that an overdue phone call with an old friend, a lengthy conversation with a new love interest, or exchanging a few jokes with a sibling is one of the finer things in life.  These moments help us recognize how lucky we are to have meaningful relationships and how important they are to foster.  To me, a phone call is the best way to enjoy these moments and it’s the main reason I continue to use the telephone as my primary means of communication.  

What’s the main reason you choose to pick up the phone?

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