Saturday, May 23, 2009
Many years ago having dinner in Paris with a friend of Andrea, this person was working with an INSEAD professor on a book about the change of the way negotiation are handle by email. I don't know if she ever finished the book (I should do a bit of research I know) but I keep this idea in my mind and I have been both going back at the assessment of the particular topic and making sure my teams did not make some mistakes around this topic.
Email is making people less and less prompt to call or organize meetings. Yes email can save time and give you answers on particular topics, but it does not replace human interaction, it does not give you context in many situations and it is not the place (virtual) to have a discussion or for you to bent frustations. These days I don't carry my BB when in the office, and it is amazing that while we get 200 emails or so a day we may only get 10 calls max (and yes I make many more than 10 calls a day)
Many people will comfortably sit on the chair or in the office and just rely purely on email. This DOES NOT WORK and it does not make things happen. People is not going to feel force to pay an invoice because you send them an email, you need to call them and they need to feel how you are feeling and that you are there. Your customer is not happy about a delivery? Don't email him, first call him, make him understand the context and the reasons and then maybe send an email to summarize the points. I always told my team in Czech, if you have soemthing important to say, get up, pick up the elevator and go sit by the person you need to give the message to. Then the important message will be deliver for sure and you may understand how the other persons thinks
BTW I do think messanger (yahoo, skype, MSN) is more efficient than email as at least it offers a channel for real time interaction but again it is an information exchange it can't go beyond that
More to come on this topic