With the world of email at our fingertips, it is so easy to send a quick request or response, and then tick that point off your ‘to-do’ list and get on with your day. But sometimes sending an email can end up leading to a breakdown in communication. Have you ever been caught up in a game of email tennis which could have been avoided if you’d just picked up the phone? Read on if you want to know how to make the right call...
Last minute requests
You’ve got a fast approaching deadline and there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Reprographics is on the other side of the school and your next lesson starts in five minutes. Surely the quickest way is to send an email marked ‘urgent’ and tick that job off your list, right? Wrong! Make a phone call instead. Acknowledge that you are asking a favour, and you will be more likely to get a yes. Making that personal contact will mean that your request isn’t just another job in the queue.
When you disagree with something on an email
A colleague has sent an email which you strongly disagree with. Your immediate reaction is to send a long missive in response, outlining all the reasons you disagree. Nine times out of ten this will lead to a further exchange of heated emails that waste a lot of time and energy. Next time something like this comes up, why not pick up the phone instead? You’ll save yourself and your colleagues a lot of time and frustration. If you feel like you still need things in writing you can always follow up your call with a very short email to confirm what you agreed over the phone.
Sharing good news with parents
Parents absolutely love getting good news from school. Often positive letters or certificates get crumpled up and forgotten at the bottom of a child’s school bag. Make a call and you can guarantee that the message gets through to the right person. If you get into the habit of making positive phone calls home on a regular basis, parents will be far more receptive to what you have to say on the (hopefully fewer) occasions it isn’t what they want to hear. You can read more about how to approach these conversations in our guide to difficult conversations with parents here.