Why phone when you don’t have to?

By William Bakker | 12.13.08 | 4 Comments

I realized the other day that I don’t check my voicemail that often. After a Twitter post a few people commented they do the same. Made me think.
There are new tools for communications. I use email, instant messenging, Twitter, Skype, Facebook and other social networks for specific types of communication and depending on the situation; both for personal and professional use. Basecamp and Google Docs are other great ways of communicating through collaboration.
Mind you, these tools can be used just as ineffectively as the phone, but that’s what I’d like to focus on for this post.
An unscheduled phone call is an interruption. I’m working on something, and somebody decides that whatever I’m doing is less important than talking to that person. I also don’t know what the topic of conversation is going to be about, I don’t know what we’re trying to achieve and I’m unprepared.
And don’t even get me started on cold-calls.
For me, in a business environment, a phonecall or conference call is like a meeting. There needs to be an objective and purpose. Why do we need to talk and what problem are we trying to solve? That’s why it needs to be scheduled. Everybody is prepared, and we can spent our time efficiently.
An unannounced call should be something like an emergency. Otherwise, drop me an email. It’s 100 times for effective. I will probably send you back an email anyways.