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email

Dear Boss,

I know you asked me to call our client but I chose to email them so they’d have the time to respond to me at their leisure and thereby leave a better impression.

Translation: I don’t like calling people and avoid it all costs. It makes me uncomfortable to talk to people on the phone and I prefer the security/anonymity of email.

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Dear Employee,

How considerate of you! What you didn’t know is that they weren’t available via email and asked that we call them. Given that the issue was time-sensitive we’ve now lost our chance to work with them. Moving forward, if you have the urge to email instead of call, still call and then if you still think of emailing, don’t, and instead call. You’ll know when I’ll want you to call because I’ll say – as I did this time – “Please call them.”

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Why Your Torture Plan Will Surely Backfire

You let your telephonophobia win. This is a fear that is growing in numbers as emailing/texting grows as well. It’s letting people off the hook and in some cases it’s a sign that our interpersonal skills are diminishing. Telephonic communication is still extremely important when you want to a) avoid “plugging in / turning on” and b) make a human connection. Email is a dream – one of the best inventions to date (as far as I’m concerned) – but it lacks basic human connection. Sometimes you gotta get on the phone.

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Maybe Try this Instead?

Call when asked. Yes, it requires more effort but that’s the point. Sometimes that little ounce of effort makes all the difference. If you find you have an aversion to the phone then you need to confront that fear.

To be clear, I’m not referring to cold sales calls. Few – if any – of us want those. I’m talking about when you’re already working with someone and time is of the essence. Don’t risk them not seeing your email if you need to relay an important piece of information.

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Dear Boss,

Here’s the update you asked for: I should have the spreadsheet done today if I can get Jane’s info. Once I hear from her I’ll post that in the group Google doc – speaking of which I need the Google login from Kelly. Do you know if Larry is sending me his stuff directly? I haven’t heard from him. I’ll be emailing John tomorrow to let him know I’ll be combining what he has thus far with my work. Sound good?

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Dear Employee,

My grandmother isn’t very computer savvy but one of her favorite aspects of email is the “reply all” feature. She uses it all the time. It does this cool thing where it sends one email to everyone copied – or “cc’d” as it’s called in tech circles – in the original email. Jane, Kelly, Larry, and John were all cc’d on my original email to you. I’m going to ask for one more favor and this one’s a little tricky – could you locate the “forward” button in your email and send Jane, Kelly, Larry, and John the same email you just sent me?

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Why Your Torture Plan Will Surely Backfire

It’s the one extra step you leave for someone else that could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back on any given day. Sure, we all sometimes fail to reply all, but we all know those people that for some reason never do. If your boss doesn’t catch that you didn’t reply all then time will potentially pass with no progress. You’ll then receive a subsequent email later on asking for another update. You’ll respond that you did send an update and then the truth will surface. You will look incompetent in the end.

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Maybe Try this Instead?

Reply All.

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