When Email or Texting Goes Awry

Communication Problems With an Associate?

How frequently do you exchange emails with your clients and co-workers? When is the last time you actually spoke rather than emailed each other?

E-mail and texting have quickly become our “go-to” channel for communicating these days. But is it possible that we rely on it too much? What about actually talking to people?

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the efficiency of e-communicating. It’s fast, it’s easy and it enables you to keep in touch with people from literally all over the world. I also love being able to instantly send documents to clients thousands of miles away. It’s a tremendous time saver.

But e-mail shouldn’t completely replace live conversations. I’ve found that over-reliance on e-mail is often the number one reason for causing problems in working relationships. A colleague misinterprets something you wrote and is confused or maybe even offended. Or you don’t get a response from someone as quickly as you expected and you think they’re putting you on the back burner. Or your co-worker forwards your email on for someone else to take action and the results are not what you’d planned.

These miscues can cause a good relationship to erode. You start to feel resistance from your co-worker or they seem more disengaged. You sense it but you don’t know why. If all of your communications take place through e-mail, you only know that you’re having a harder time working together.

In my own experience, everything runs much more smoothly if I combine a few phone calls or visits along with those routine emails. It helps me understand much more about what my client’s day looks like, what challenges they’re having and how I can help. Most importantly, it lets people know that I’m are truly interested in them, which is vital to building good business relationships. It also makes the work more fun.



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