Quick business lesson – how to contact/be contacted
Here are 3 important communication lessons for you about being aware of different communication methods – and daring to “educate” people about the best way to contact you.
These days we have so many ways of contacting people or being contacted by other people – work e-mail, private e-mail/s, work phone, mobile phone, text, voice mail, Facebook, twitter, Linked In – just to name a few. Well, more than just a few!
I’ve learned from smart contacts of mine – to be clear in telling people the best way they can contact you.
I have a very smart and effective lawyer friend who firmly yet efficiently advised me to contact her mainly through her work e-mail. She said she only checks Facebook – once a month – if she is lucky.
Not everyone likes to contact or be contacted the same way YOU do.
I also – used to only check Facebook about once a month – but these days I’m really embracing the power of Social Media and I am spending lots of time connecting with people via Facebook and twitter.
I’ve completely changed my written communication “platform” preference – but I need to realise that not everyone is regularly on Facebook or twitter.
I know that work-related message should be through “work” channels rather than SOCIAL media – but the lines are blurring and even in business professionals are “warming up” messages by using social media.
Sometimes if you are on a particular platform – it’s easy to “default” to sending a message via that platform. It’s all about awareness and pausing to think – what’s the best way to communicate THIS particular message – given its subject matter and urgency.
Also, don’t send time-dependent messages on Linked In. Linked In has many advantages – including being able to connect with important contacts – but be aware that professionals often only check Linked In very occasionally. Don’t expect urgent responses.
My lawyer friend also advised me of her “hours of operation”. She works until 3 a.m. then sleeps until later because she communicates with US and European clients.
She asked for no phone calls of texts before about 10 a.m. She has worked out the best timing to connect with her overseas clients – and she has clearly set out the best ways people in Australia can connect with her. I’ve learned a lot from her!
My friend helped me be aware of how different our hours of operation were – even though we both were professionals with offices and work colleagues and families and overseas clients and contacts to communicate with.
Whereas my lawyer friend stayed up until 3 a.m. and slept later in the day – I wake up a 4 a.m. to connect with my US and European clients and business connections. I go to bed early so I now “educate” people that if they send a message after 8 p.m. – I probably won’t see it until 4 the next morning.
I also advise people – the best way to contact me is via TEXT rather than phone call.
These days, I deliberately have my phone on silent.
When I am in meetings or training I (usually) don’t listen to voicemail or make or receive phone calls.
I can however check and reply to texts.
So, my 3 suggestions for you:
1. share with people the best way to contact you. What works best for you? Timing? – Communication “platform”? – text or call?
2. ask people the best way to contact them. In business these days, I find more and more people are not answering their landline or mobile phones.
3. consider turning your phone to silent – so you don’t get your work FLOW interrupted. THIS IS THE BEST THING I’VE STARTED DOING!
I initially had trouble not answering EVERY call and instead switching the phone to silent – because I suffered from FOMO – FEAR OF MISSING OUT.
Now I “educate” people to text me. I have developed the discipline to not check every text or voicemail that comes through – but to check at 30 minute or 1-hour intervals.
You’ll be amazed how much more productive you can be when you refuse to be interrupted!
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I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.
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