Are you finding that you spend a lot of your time playing email tiggy? This can be especially prevalent in office environments where team members may be just metres away from each other but communicate via email!
This type of communication has been seen to be becoming a real issue within business and having serious effects on efficiency. There are now businesses that are making a policy of not using email and other electronic forms of communication in their day to day business. Instead, they are picking up the phone and having an actual discussion with someone, or even getting up out of their chairs and walking across the office to talk face-to-face.
The benefits are immediate… For one you are able to sense the other persons feeling, which can often not be portrayed in written word, decreasing the chance of offending or giving the incorrect inference to the other person.
There is also the benefit of being able to come to agreement quickly without having to send endless emails which are in actual fact a ‘discussion’. A three minute discussion may take an hour to resolve via electronic methods. The fact is most of us can talk faster than we can type anyway!
Verbal communication is also timely in that you can ring or visit the person now, not later, when they finally check their email. How many times do you receive a follow up email asking, ‘did you get my message?’. If it is important don’t rely on a discretionary method of communication.
I recently read about a business in Sydney that has taken on this policy which at first resulted in many of their customers being a little taken back. However, not only did talking through their customers’ orders work fantastically well, they actually improved business. They were able to cross sell and recommend other products to their customers while taking their order and very importantly have personal interaction becoming closer and building better relationships with their customers.
I would challenge all businesses to go on a Digital Detox occasionally. Possibly leave the mobile phone at home for the day when you go out, put the iPad away at night or promote a policy of not emailing your colleagues within your office. You may be surprised at what you gain from face-face-face interactions.