The #1 Reason Why the Telephone is More Effective than Email

Email hasn’t helped improve communication in the workplace.

In many cases, it’s made things worse.

And, many managers are wondering how to fix this.

Here’s a suggestion…

In our experience, if you can’t speak to someone face-to-face, the next best thing that ensures better communication is to pick up the phone.

Here’s the logic, based on proven research about how people communicate.

In our last blog, we pointed to research which confirms that “face-to-face” is always the most effective form of communication.

Here’s why.

Face-to-face uses all 3 elements that are involved in sharing a message.

They are: Words. Tone. Body Language.

And, Body Language communicates the most – 55% of the message. Tone contributes 38% and Words only 7%.

Why is this important?

It has everything to do with the overall purpose or intent of your communication.

If you use only use words (text or email) to communicate your intent, you exponentially increase the chances of someone misinterpreting it. That’s because the reader doesn’t have the benefit of your tone or body language to help communicate your intent.

And, as soon as someone misinterprets your intent, effective communication starts to break down.

So if you don’t want this to happen and you can’t meet face-to-face, use the phone – so that you can add tone to your words.

If you choose to use the phone, here are 4 proven techniques that will help you better communicate your message:

  1. Close your eyes. When you speaking on the phone, close your eyes if you can (not while driving or walking, of course!) The eyes take in more information than all the other senses combined. If you temporarily close off this source, it exponentially enhances what you “hear” on the phone.
  2. Listen. Let the other person finish speaking before you respond.
  3. Pay Attention. Don’t allow distractions. This includes reading or catching up on or composing emails while you’re pretending to listen. If you close your eyes, this becomes a non-issue.
  4. Don’t Mute. On a conference call, don’t press the mute button – stay involved!

One phone call can also replace the tedious back-and-forth of misunderstood and misinterpreted emails, which wastes a lot of productive time.

So if you want to communicate more effectively and can’t get to the person face-to-face, simply pick up the phone.

If you don’t, you may be less effective, efficient, and productive than you think, unintentionally hurting your business in the process.