Friday Thoughts: The Lost Art of Picking Up the Phone

phone with computer

As a tech company, we’re constantly downloading and rating new apps. Which have the best features, the greatest user experience, and make our lives easier? It’s a constant competition to decide what we’re going to incorporate into our day-to-day activities and of course, apps that make things more efficient tend to win.

But we don’t want to miss the forest by staring too closely at the trees. There is one icon on our phones that tends to be the most undervalued of all: the phone.

So often we go through our days sending emails, texts messages, and Slack or Gchat messages, that we forget that one of the most efficient ways of communicating is by actually speaking. For those of us who aren’t able to walk across the office to speak to a colleague that is across the country, picking up the phone can have a massive effect.

phone icon

Communication is Clear

When a person sends an email or a message over a chat platform, it can be like the game of telephone kids play. The message starts out clear, but after so many iterations, crucial information can be lost. Of course it’s a great idea to document information being passed from one party to another, but the overall message can remain clear if a topic is discussed in person or over the phone.

Relationships are Built

Beyond the message itself, the tone of a message can also be misinterpreted. To avoid misinterpretation and to build rapport with your teammates, it’s okay to forego a written message and to opt to hear someone’s voice, rather than to read what they’ve got to say. This opens the door for a more personal touch in your day-to-day.

Time is Saved

Think about all the time stamps on those emails. For all the time you’ve spent going back and forth via your inbox, you could have picked up the phone and had a much more enjoyable conversation, in most likely half the time.

There are always going to be times when written communication comes in handy. At times there is a language barrier or a large difference with time zones, and other times, there are processes that require documentation. But make sure that you aren’t discounting what could be the most crucial icon on your phone. When in doubt, pick up the phone and commit to clear and efficient communication.