I’m emailing way less these days, in favor of calls, and when necessary, in-person meetings.
When you listen intently to another person, you can identify subtle cues in their voice not available via conversation over email. These cues are necessary to understanding your relationship and the status of a deal if you’re doing business together.
I’ve alway said I believe calls are more effective than emails. In-person meetings are the best, but how much more effective are they?
Yesterday, Rachel was reading Fast Company, when she pointed out this stat from author Dan Schawbel:
1 in-person meeting = 34 back-and-forth email exchanges
Wow! I have no idea how he came up with that number, but I’m interested in finding out so I just purchased his book, How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation.
I learned this lesson in my first job out of school. I was emailing a person two floors beneath me about hitting a deadline. An older mentor figure I worked next to was astounded I would email the designer instead of taking an elevator down to speak with him. He asked me how I ever expected to get anything done this way as he taught me the valuable lesson of getting face time with those you’re working with to establish clarity, rapport, and commitment.
It can be challenging to allocate the right amount of time for meetings. Sometimes I want to spend hours with a person I scheduled only an hour with and other times I scheduled an hour and a half and only want to spend 15 minutes with the person.
I am still working to figure out the perfect balance. At the end of last year, Rachel asked me what I think would happen if instead of reading so much, I spent more time networking and hanging with friends.
I will never leave reading behind… I understand people have different learning styles, but I digest information best through books (second only to experience).
Nonetheless, I’ve been spending more time with other people this year and even though I am an introvert at heart, I’ve been enjoying it. I love learning other people’s stories and know the best ideas come from them too!
One lesson I’ve learned is I’d rather decide who to spend my time with and reach out to them then allocate my time based on others’ requests of me when possible.
If I leave you with one thing today, when somebody writes you an important email, before you draft one back, think about whether it may be easier to diffuse or handle the situation on the phone or in-person instead of email.
People are more sympathetic when they can hear your voice or see you in-person and you’ll be able to better understand the other person’s response in real time to.
For most people, going beyond technology will show them you care… And many times caring makes all the difference.