Don’t Send an Email

Technology is a good thing. We have all come to depend on it to get our jobs done. It has helped remove both time and space from our work and has enabled us to do things in minutes that used to take days or longer. It can however become a crutch. It does not alleviate the responsibility you have for seeing to it that the job is completed.

There was a recent situation where an assignment was given to a staff member. He was the owner of the assignment and had the responsibility to get the assignment completed. Some time later the deadline came and went. When queried about the topic his response was the ever more common:

“I sent out emails requesting help, and I am still waiting for the responses…”

Sending out an email is not the same as completing the task. It does not transfer the responsibility for completing the task to the person you are sending the email to. In short, in today’s busy, high stress, under staffed business world, emails are easy to “miss”, especially when you are requesting time and effort that we all feel we have little enough available to do our own work.

A better solution, if help is needed, is to call. Make contact. Exchange information real time. If the person needed is local, get up and go see them. Once you have the required information, or achieved closure on a topic, then send an email confirming what was discussed, what the solution was and what the steps are moving forward. That email requires no active response from the recipient and enables everyone to get on with their respective jobs.

“Sending an email” does not get the job done. Make the call. Get up and make the visit. Take the initiative and get the job done.

One thought on “Don’t Send an Email”

  1. SG,

    AS I was reading this, I thought this was so obvious to me. But a couple of weeks later, I tasked a sales/admin guy to collect all the Texas sales and use tax permits not on file. A week went buy and I asked how many remain? He said almost verbatim, the response below, “I sent out emails requesting help, and I am still waiting for the responses…”

    So my point is that your blog may not always strike me as the most informing blog in the world, but it was helpful as I was able to quickly identify his solution. He also gained an estimated $8000.00 in sales that week from making additional courtesy calls. Which in turn put a little extra cash in my wallet that week. 🙂

    Keep’em coming, as turns out the blogs that appear to be “average” at first glance, may end up helping me with a fast solution.

    Thanks again,

    Your fan,

    Chris Doyle

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