Tuesday, September 16, 2008

E-mail or Voice Mail?

A lot of misunderstandings happen because people unwittingly choose the wrong medium for their message. While we all know ending a relationship, whether at work or otherwise, by text message is cowardly, in other cases we're not sure if we should call or email.

The first thing to always keep in mind is that everyone is busy and distracted. That's why you usually choose the easiest medium for your message, even though it may not be the best.

Here is a list of things people tend not to remember when they hear them:

- Names

- Numbers

- Details

- Dates

- Sequences

And....because these things tend to slip in people's memories, they (we) also tend to fill in the blanks with what we think we remember, or what makes sense in our minds, regardless what was actually said.

So, if details are important to your message, use email. If emotional content is more important, like showing appreciation, it may be better to call the person.

If you need to leave a voice mail for some reason AND you want the other person to remember details, like your phone number, repeat it in the message and give the other person time to grab a pen to write it down.

Think about what you want the other person to remember from your message. Choose your medium accordingly.