Archive for the 'communication' Category

The best thing since sliced bread

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

Curious about Communication | Email or phone, which one?


My friend was watching a movie from the 80s with her son.After watching for a bit, he turned to her and asked, “mommy why is the phone attached to the wall?”
Ah, those were the days.  Getting tangled up in a phone cord is soon to be a forgotten art form.

So, do you use a phone?

I figured that the older the person, the more they’d use the phone, since that’s what they grew up with.
But no!  Check it out:
From my small sampling of white collar professionals, aged 26-57, 
of the people I interviewed had adapted email as their primary mode of communication.

They even preferred it over using the phone.
For them, email is the greatest thing since the invention of sliced bread.

But don’t rule out the other 15% who preferred using the phone.  They had their reasons.
Here’s the whys:

•  Talking on the phone is personable, with ability to show inflection (especially good to close a deal)
•  Talking on the phone is unconfusing..resolves conflicts
•  Talking on the phone allows for set up of meetings without a lot of back and forth

•  Email gives a paper trail (super important for anyone in a position of responsibility, for business owners, for keeping track of contracts and legal documents)
•  Email gives people time to compose their thoughts
•  Email does not interrupt what people are doing

Regardless of the person’s individual preference, here’s how email and phone were being used in reality by my interviewees.

Email used for business
50-90% of all communications

Phone used for business
10-50% of all communications

I know there’s a big ol’ communication universe out there with more than just email and phone.  More on that tomorrow.  I can tell you’re transfixed…

Faster than a speeding bullet

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Curious about Communication | Response Times


How fast do people respond to emails?
Whether your inbox is empty or overflowing, one thing is a constant. 
Everyone I interviewed had quick email response times.

How fast?
If not immediately, then within 24 hours.
Or, by the end of the day. Like leftovers in the fridge, no one wanted to see an email from the previous day.

Never ending
People lamented that they were always answering emails.  Everyone had hopes that they could only open their email program once or twice a day, but the reality was they were checking email all day long.

There was also guilt if an email went unanswered more than three or four days.  This was entirely limited to business emails.  People felt no guilt about taking two weeks to answer personal emails from friends and family.

Witty responses to my question of “how quickly do you respond to email?”
“How pretty is she?” (joking)
“How much money will I make?” (not joking)
“I answer within one hour or never.  Some things are meant to be dropped.” (joking or not joking…I wasn’t sure)

Do you have 48,207 emails in your inbox?

Monday, November 1st, 2010

Curious About Communication:  The Email Inbox


I’m a curious person by nature and this past year I’ve noticed certain trends in communication, at least in my circle of colleagues and friends.  Recently I took it upon myself to conduct an informal survey about email methods and phone and such.  I’m posting what I discovered today, tomorrow and every day in November!

Fret not, I will still be posting my Photo-of-the-Day.

There is a debate about whether one should clear their email inbox or not.  I’m not casting my vote either way, but here is some of the data I found from interviewing people who are successful.

Below are the top 5 winners who had the most emails in their inbox.

48, 207 – Director of Global PR for a well-known

40,000 – real estate mogul

17,110 – photographer with six employees

7,103  – CFO of a publishing company

5,070  – software engineer

This is just the tip of the iceberg. I talked with many successful business professionals and I’m excited about posting my findings in the days to come. But more so, I really want to know what YOU think! Please tell me about your email nightmares, best practices, or any tips you might add.  Subscribe to my blog to keep up with updates in your email inbox, oh the irony…