Email Isn’t a Substitute for Face Time

Not enough communication is one of the biggest complaints of most people in just about any organization. We’re all so busy these days staying focused on getting the work done that it’s often tough to remember we work with real live people who need communication on a regular basis.

As a leader, communication should be the number one item on your list. You cannot lead a team or grow a successful company without it. And I’m not talking about just sending an email. Sending an email is not communicating. It’s broadcasting your message to a group of people.

Communicating is sending out your message and confirming that it was heard. Sadly, it doesn’t happen much these days.

Google had it right when they defined a key manager behavior as communicating and being a good listener. We mostly use our techno tools to spew messages out at the speed of light — a few text messages here, a bunch of emails there, a powerpoint or two — and voila! we quickly rub our hands together and say, “Whew! This communication stuff is tough.”

What in the world did we do before we had technology?

We met face-to-face. And that’s exactly what you should do. At least once a month, sit down with your team and talk. If you can’t talk face-to-face or arrange for travel, have a video conference. Supplement that communication with emails, texts and powerpoints. But never replace it. Try it to see how well it works. It will gain you more leverage and respect with your team over the long term. It will make you a better leader too.

What do you think? Do you have face-to-face meetings or are you and your team satisfied using technology for all communication? Please leave a comment.

Denise O'Berry

Denise O’Berry — aka the Team Doc — has been working with teams and team leadership in the public, non profit and private sectors for over twenty years. Follow her @askteamdoc.

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