When your phone can be your best friend
“When it’s a tricky conversation, pick up the phone! “
Every time we create a brief message such as a text or email we are deciding which portion of the full information we choose to tell. Frequently the words we share convey only a small fraction of what we really mean and assume that the other person ‘gets it’. This is especially true as people read less and less, and emails are becoming shorter and more tightly written to accommodate this.
When it’s a tricky conversation, pick up the phone!
For the most part tight texting is great for conveying simple instructions and one-dimensional information, but any messages that could stir up emotion or be misunderstood are best given by phone or even better, face to face.
The reason for this is that up to 80 percent of our communication is non-verbal and conveyed in the tone and texture of our speech, in the look on our face and even in the movement of our body. When we are face to face, we can read what the other person is really feeling by looking and listening to them and this feedback can be critical information to guide your conversation. It’s just too easy to be misunderstood by text – as many a wounded heart can confirm!
The second reason is that phone and in-person meetings allow for listening. And often we hear things in listening that would be completely missed in a one-way text directive.
When I feel uncomfortable, I listen to my gut feeling, halt the email, reflect, and then pick up the phone. Whilst picking up the phone or calling a meeting can take courage, especially if it is a difficult conversation, if you genuinely want a positive outcome to communication that leaves both parties feeling heard, phone or face to face is best.
Simply put – when it’s a tricky subject or difficult conversation, don’t email or text – choose another method of communication so you can listen to the spoken and unspoken feedback and be sure your message is received as it was intended.