Good day readers!

Today I am reminded that communications continue to not only be extremely important but also difficult in the world of emails and text messages. Interpretation by the reader is paramount to the result. Many of you know that I am auditory and not visual. My brain works better when I hear communications rather than read them. 

One issue I work with members on is to help critically examine the communications they have received. It can be as simple as deciphering advice that they received for accuracy or as complex as advising on how to proceed with problem solving on a contract. What I can tell you is that interpretation of communication is often the root of the problem. 

The easy way to communicate with the quickest response time is an email or text message. Virtual communicating. The benefits are that you have a paper trail (an attorney’s best friend, I might add). The problem is interpreting that paper trail. I know every reader has received a text message where you were left to your own interpretation of the ‘tone” of the message. I have seen and experienced the fallout from misinterpreting “tone”. Being auditory my response is to pick up the phone and clarify. With virtual communication becoming more of the norm that clarification is missing which leads to everything from personal angst to even bigger issues with directives from your clients being misinterpreted. 

My advice to you is to be a bit vulnerable and uncomfortable to get clarity. Pick up the phone instead of sending the 3 messages to make sure you understand the communications. Yes, we are busy – but we are too busy to get things wrong because we misunderstood. I witness this with my own staff reading the emails to me and trying to communicate back. My response “Just pick up the phone or you will be 3 more emails in”. Another great tool is to mix your verbal and written communications. Have a discussion and document via email or text the follow-up summary of the discussion: “Great conversation today. In summary, we agreed that my company will proceed under the following conditions.” That gives you a paper trail and a verbal clarification. 

Remember – not only do people learn differently but they communicate differently too.

– B