I am really beginning to believe I am a dinosaur. Every day I am inundated by email messages. Some days it seems I spend the entire day just tending to email. Then it happens - that familiar ringing takes me back to time almost forgotten.
I answer the phone, not a cell phone, an honest to gosh desk phone tethered to the wall. I felt I had to clarify that point since cell phones are mostly for text messaging and surfing the web rather than talking, at least from what I see.
Why just today one caller felt obligated to apologize for calling instead of emailing. Why? I am not sure. In a call that lasted less than 5 minutes, we actually accomplished what we needed and laughed during the process. No follow up email required. What a relief - one less email thread to track and file.
I read that if an email conversation is not resolved in two exchanges, it is best to call. But, hey, why not call first? We seem to be divorcing ourselves from personal contact by relying on email. We no longer hear our friends and acquaintances laugh, sigh, or cry. Nothing we write in an email can express those emotions. Even the cutesy emoticons fall woefully short. It is hard to communicate effectively and interpret tone and intent without those sometimes subtle audio cues.
So here is my challenge. Substitute one phone call each day for that first email. Talk to the other person. And then really listen. Share something about yourself. Make a friend.
When you hear the phone ring, answer it without waiting for the message machine. You will likely accomplish something. Then you will have more time for all those other emails.