I recently read this Harvard Business Review article by Anthony K. Tjan, CEO of Cue Ball. In it he makes the case for having live conversations rather than electronically-mediated communication (such as email and social media).
This is especially the case where important decision need to be made or conflict needs to be addressed. He writes,
There is a rising and unproductive trend towards people trying to do digital conflict resolution. The de facto path for issue resolution seems to be increasingly via email. More accurately, email has become a convenient mechanism for issue-avoidance. It is easier, quicker, less stressful, and less confrontational to have critical or challenging issues sent over email versus a live one-on-one with a counterpart.
The immediacy of email, as the fact that it appears less confrontational, all mask the hidden cost of email:
- It is hard to get the EQ (emotional intelligence) right in email.
- Email and text often promote reactive responses.
- Email prolongs debate.
In light of this, my resolution is to pick the phone up more rather than send off an email. What do you think?