Email is easy.
I prefer email to the phone in almost every situation. Almost.
Sometimes You Have to Talk
Email is terrific for confirming dates, getting quick replies, and starting a dialogue.
Email is not good for picking up on subtleties about situations and building trust. Unless we're extra careful with our messages, email can be easily misunderstood by all parties involved.
Pick up the phone when:
- A good sum of money is involved and agreement must be reached. You can negotiate in one phone call what might otherwise take 13 emails.
- There has been a misunderstanding. A quick phone call can clear up a whole mess of good intentions in your emails.
- It seems too good to be true. It's nice to trust everyone, but you will learn things during a conversation that might be accidentally omitted from an email.
- You need to get to the bottom of the situation fast. Emails are disruptive. You have to revisit the situation with each missive, which interrupts your work flow. How much easier it is to talk once and get on with your work!
The next time you feel frustrated by email correspondence that seems to be going nowhere, remember this suggestion: pick up the phone and dial!