Sometimes it is not a good idea to email a message, it is better to pick up the phone and chat.
We've all received an email message that we simply wished we wouldn't have gotten, one where we've been chewed out or chastised for something whether we deserved it or not. In some cases the criticism that has been sent in the email message would have been received in a much more constructive manner if instead it would have been given by phone.
Here's when it is best to pick up the phone and chat and not to email:
- If you have to discipline and employee, although email is faster and you have a written documentation of the situation, a verbal conversation is much better. A written confirmation of the call can be sent by email after the conversation.
- If you have a difficulty with a client, a long winded response by email should definitely be replaced by a quick phone call to clear up the gray areas. In most cases prompt action in a misunderstanding with a client will resolve a problem quickly before it grows into a huge difficulty or nasty misunderstanding.
- Training issues are best done by phone or even better via web conferencing. You have a much better chance of having an employee understand the directions if they see you perform the action once online while they watch. To send long instructions via email can cause some employees to scan the information and not to follow the instructions step by step as they do not understand the importance. Once you have verbally explained the instructions revisions or repairs may be minor or non-existent.
You probably have others that you can add to this list as well, but the key is to understand that although we all lean heavily on email as a major form of business communication that sometimes teleconferencing is by far better than email.