Friday, July 27, 2007

Putting the commune back in communicate

We all know the lion's share of communication is based on non-verbal signals. So, consider the implications of emails which are totally devoid of anything other than words. Given that, it would seem obvious to take extra care in considering the message of an email. Not only who you send it to, but also what you are sending takes on a heightened importance.

Beyond the potential for personal misunderstandings, did you ever stop to wonder about the ECONOMIC effects of bad email communication? How much time have you wasted each day reading emails that don't pertain to you? How many clarification emails did you have to send to get the right message?

A recent study done by consulting firm Best Practices linked electronic miscommunication to sales force productivity losses. (To read more, go to our homepage and click the Pharmaceutical Executive widget; the article posted June 20.)

So, it's not only the time it takes to read excessive emails -- or even the miscommunication issues of a poorly worded message -- but also the lost opportunity for a real connection that comes from routine emailing.

The idea here is to develop a culture of contact. My Chicago office is an open one, and I encourage my employees to interact with each other more person-to-person. Why send an email when you can as easily pick up the phone? And why make a phone call when you can walk across the office? This culture extends to our clients as well to make a personal connection whenever possible. Call to personally verify the receipt of a package rather than relying on the automated package tracking. Congratulate your clients for important milestones or life events.

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