Email has become the communication tool of choice for almost any business. It's ease of use, it's track-ability, it's speed to get a message anywhere and being non-invasiveness has replaced face-to-face meetings and the good old telephone.
Weekly updates are often distributed via email, meeting requests, minutes from a meeting and even a simple how are you?.
But are we missing a trick? Through an email there's no tone of voice, no pause for breath and no raised eyebrows. In short, no emotion. Which if you're confirming a meeting is fine, but when youâre communicating with a member of staff or clients how do you ensure they really know what you mean?
For me, email is essential. I need an email trail to track the progress of projects, communicate with the team in the UK and internationally. But, I also make a concerted effort to talk to my team. Internationally we set up monthly video conference calls so we can not only speak but see our team. With our international offices placed in the US and South Africa, the video conferencing allows us to be a part of the team without the extensive air travel.
It is this 'face time' that brings up any issues, allows me to gauge my colleagues response and get a feel for what they think. Body language is fundamental and you just don't get this through email. It also let's my team know I'm present. Just being on the end of an email isnât the same as talking to someone.
It also allows you to bounce off ideas, new technologies, and strategies for the company and new directions. Every year or even twice a year we have a corporate day. The morning is spent reviewing and consulting with our team on the business, the afternoon is spent out of the office as a team building fun event. This year, we went clay pigeon shooting. I can honestly say I learnt more about my highly competitive team from this one day, than I did in six months worth of emails.
Of course, this doesn't mean to say I'm giving up on email, I simple couldn't afford to do that and my day would not be half as productive. But, I do make a concerted effort to talk to my team, clients and business partners. This, for me, is what keeps my business moving, new clients coming through the door and networking opportunities arising.
Member since: 2nd April 2013
Hi I'm Tom Bosher
I run thebestofchelmsford and am passionate about helping the independent businesses in Chelmsford thrive and achieve their goals.