Timing Is Everything

 The other day I was waiting for an important email from a client to get the last piece of information needed to finish my presentation deck and make the deadline. It was getting late so I called his work number and got his voicemail. I had his cell number but thought twice since that seemed too urgent. I contemplated sending a text but then decided to give it one more hour. As soon as I put my phone down, it beeped. I hoped it was a text from my client; instead it was a text from my date the night before.

I paused, reflecting about both situations. I realized that even though there are many communication tools available to us, a certain protocol has emerged and it is different for business and personal communications. Generally speaking, the younger generation expects efficient communications, so texts and emails are used the majority of the time – the texts are more personal and the emails are more professional. However, the voice of experience believes that personal relationships are the key to success – face to face meetings/get-togethers, and phone calls with voice inflections, help build relationships and quickly avert or resolve misunderstood emails or texts.

Complementary to the type of communication, is the importance of response time. Both in business and personal situations, the timeliness of the responses is dependent on the deadline, the importance of the question/person, and the availability of the sender. For example, if I return-text my date right now, will I seem desperate, or will that show that I’m really interested? And, in reality, what message do I want my timing to send this guy anyway?

As I contemplated both situations, a ping went off, on my computer. I laughed as I saw my client instant messengered me the information. Now I just had one decision left to make… maybe it was time for a cocktail…

All my best,

Aruna

     
  The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.
  
 Edward R. Murrow

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