Why email management kills
Why do leaders, people, and companies create processes to grow if we forget the most important one, “human interaction and mutual understanding”?
I would like to give a typical example, which is a complete exaggeration but as real as life itself.
When anyone begins working at a company, there is a need and urgency to know all aspects of the environment, what and where things are going on. At this stage, we start learning as sponges.
The most important rule that anyone at any company, in any sector or doing whatever activity should learn first and apply as standard is to avoid email communication unless it’s completely necessary.
Studies and experience show us every day that communicating, asking for help, giving orders or just saying hello, is not effective by email, skype or any other channel of non-physical communication.
So what is really preventing people from getting up or at least using their voice or the telephone to communicate? Is it laziness? Is it fear? Is it a lack of belonging? Is it dis-engagement with the team or the management?
Well, there might be many reasons creating this situation, but there must be even a new department within the organizations to start taking this issue seriously and re-start learning from the beginning and disrupt processes and meetings.
It would be necessary to create a new position in organizations such as an anti-email team leader, in charge of deconstructing processes and recreating the conditions in order to increase the human touch and communication.
Easy today, hard tomorrow (appealing to stoicism)
Efficient and intelligent people are like that because they start first with the most difficult tasks to face the easiest ones later on.
Hence if we apply this to a working environment, if 80% of the employees are dealing most of the time anything with emails, this means that 80% of the tasks and works to be done will cost at least 160% to be completed.
On the other hand, there will still be 20% of the employees that will be always ready to stand up, run, help and give more to the rest, even when they are suffering the majority of the 80% easy and fast micro-managers of the organization.
Most of the delays, de-motivation, and setbacks in communication, quarrels and fights in a social environment (and organizations ), are produced by running fast in the short term and being tired to deal with the relevant matters.
We tend to pay attention to the easiest and quickest fixes rather than stopping and thinking of the long run; mostly because we are commonly afraid of being hurt. Yes, this could sound too extreme but it’s not.
We, people, are not open to making mistakes every day to learn more. Moreover, we delay, postpone and avoid any situation that in the past was supposed, disappointment and just didn’t happen as we had imagined. So we give up too soon.
“Send me an Email, I don’t have time now”
Imagine a situation in which a team member detects something not working well in a project or process. He stands up and runs to find a solution, communicating this problem to someone else who can help.
Then the person that can help, this team member (Manager, Project Manager, Team Lead or any other person responsible for any involved department) replies with: “I’m too busy now, let’s talk later” or “please send me an email, and I’ll have a look at it later”.
That person who wanted to sort out something important for the benefit of a full team will do what the person responsible asks for and probably the next time, will not even stand up, pick up the telephone or even try to fix anything else when seeing things go wrong.
Now imagine that, what this person wanted to fix, if carried out and implemented in the whole department could mean € 2M of profits for the company, as well as more productivity,
motivation, and engagement, felt from the employees within the company.
And detrimentally, this person that wanted to fix something, apparently small, but which turned out to be much bigger in the long run, will start to feel distanced to any company that proudly repeats at Christmas events every year: “Communication is what really matters” but when in reality, it doesn´t seem to be working as they say.
Having brave, strategic, self-assured, learner, creative and/or generous workers at your company would be the most valuable and beneficial assets to ensure that emails were the less common communication tool used for daily interaction in your department, or company, no matter what the sector or position.
As we are all human, we need to evolve. What we do not often see, is that we are avoiding being human, just because we are afraid of suffering any kind of deception or frustration. This, in turn, will lead us to be unmotivated robotic people.
From now, think twice before sending an email because it´s like taking up smoking when you start you think it will be easy to quit but as time goes on, you realize it becomes really difficult to stop. It´s an addiction, whether it be to cigarettes or email, it´s the same principle.
When you feel the urge to send an email, get up from your chair or workplace and have a one minute walk, then think, what is preventing you from picking up the phone first or standing up and talking with the person you need to and communicate about what needs to be dealt with directly.
Something really important to take into account is that you will need to reinvent yourself every day and not be afraid to suffer from frustration and anger, as you will find many obstacles and barriers.
Be persistent, and of course, stay humble and rad to make the most of your next second coming.
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Ignacio Gallo Campos
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