Friday, September 28, 2007

How to get results? Go "Old School"

Even though I'm not that old (yet), I can still remember a time before email (B.E.). And back in the halcyon days of B.E., people developed these quirky methods for conversing with co-workers and customers. But in the new modern era of with email (W.E.) the seemingly simplest way to share info is to just send off a quick email.

There are lots of great pieces out there about using email in a productive and effective/efficient manner. has a great piece 10 simple rules for using email. I recommend it to everyone.

But what are other B.E. methods to get results?

  • Pick up the phone. It's faster than actually walking (or driving) to another location, you can hear the tone of their voice etc. This is actually a more information and context rich method of communication. Go figure.
  • Talk to them in person. Now that has to be just plain rude right? I mean, you're getting in their space, it's so . . . in your face! Clearly this is even more information/context rich than email, and a step above the phone.
  • Send a memo/letter. Now THAT is old school! A great way of doing business that Jack Welch kept through his GE days was to send personal thank you letters to employees. This isn't like your "Thanks for that file" type of junk you send via email. This is for real, honest to goodness meaningful work.
And let's talk about those "Thanks!" emails we all get, and I begrudgingly send. Do I hate them? Yes. Do I send them? Quixotically, I do. Why? I feel like I'm a jerk if I don't, and that the dumb email is almost expected. Yet I'm pretty sure the bitter soon-to-be retiree who does Tech Support for my office deletes it while mutter about me. But I do it, and I do it because I'm a sucker.

What other options are out there?

Well, when in doubt, truly go "Old School" and threaten to go STREAKING!!!


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