Archive for the 'communication' Category

broken gears, broken system

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Curious about Communication | Voicemail Solutions


Sometimes not responding is about not having a system.
I have to confess:  I have been notoriously forgetful about responding to voicemails.

I would not realize that I had missed a call.
Or I would be in the middle of something and let it go to voicemail.
Then I would not see that I had a voicemail, sometimes for three days.
Then I would curse and in a panic, listen to the voicemail.
Then I would promptly forget what was in the voicemail, especially if I was in the middle of a few other tasks.
Then I would forget to respond to the voicemail.
Communication Fail.  Big big fail.
My apologies to anyone has waited in vain for me to return a call.

In conducting my interviews, I solicited ideas.
Here are a few simple and effective suggestions:

1)  Answer the phone.  Then you don’t have to check voicemail.
2)  Screen the call, compose your thoughts, then call back within five minutes
3)  Old fashioned, but still in use:  check messages twice a day, jotting down info with pen and paper.

And one more solution which has been a godsend for me.  Stay tuned for it tomorrow!

Think about other people

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Curious about Communication | Nudging


The Nudge Email with a little bit of sugar on top.

Here’s a sweeter version of the passive aggressive technique from yesterday.
Take an approach of helping others.
One of my interview subjects said he uses this guideline.

Sell your value not your need.

If someone has not responded, he’ll Nudge Email them, but he’ll say this:

“Dear Person,
I noticed that you placed an order for my XYZ product.
I’d love for you to have it as soon as possible.  May I please have your address?”

Much better than saying

“hey…I’m still waiting for your address, why haven’t you responded yet?”

Repeat after me:
Sell your value, not your need.

permissible passive aggressiveness

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Curious about Communication | Nudging


Here’s another key to good communication.
The Nudge Email.

Nudging is a precursor to adapting.
If someone doesn’t respond to an email, say, within 3 or 4 days, then it’s time for The Nudge Email.
It goes like this:

“Hey So and So,
I was just checking in,
wondering if my email got lost in your inbox”

Alternate version:

‘Hi Special Someone,
How’s your Monday?
I was checking back with you,
wondering if my email got sucked into your spam filter.”

What’s fascinating about this is everyone does it.
Everyone I interviewed would recite –almost verbatim–one of the versions listed above.
It was like some unspoken universal socializing technique that we all have agreed to use.

We don’t want to point fingers, accusing someone of ignoring our emails (maybe they’re busy!)(but we need answers!), so we pretend, innocently, that it somehow got lost or never arrived.

When I was relating this to a friend, he thought it was brilliant.
The one time where he was in favor of passive aggressiveness.
I’m inclined to agree.
I support this previously maligned form of social manipulation.
It allows you to give someone the benefit of the doubt  and sidesteps a lot of drama.

It might take multiple nudges, but eventually you’ll get an answer to that email.