Leaders Set Rules for Communications

I’ve heard the word “wow” twice recently.

1) “Wow! Thanks for calling me back!” Someone called and left a voice mail; he wanted to meet for coffee to visit about the computing support services his company offered. I called him back an hour later, and I think he was surprised I called back at all.

2) “Wow – you answer your phone!” Why on Earth is that so unusual? But it is — because current technology allows us to be totally in control of our communications.

Email headers and caller ID allow us to know who is trying to reach us and give us the power to decide when and if to respond. The default tends to be to “sit on it” or “let it go to voice mail.”

This isn’t all bad – if we follow best practices in productivity, we control our interruptions; it’s not unusual for me to turn off email and silence my phone while pounding out this blog, for example. But-

It’s also a best practice to budget time for communications. Do you get tons of calls and emails? All the more important to both budget time AND…

Set a rule. Set a rule for when you will return communications.

Mine is 24 hours. Sometimes I violate that when circumstances dictate, but that’s the general rule. Why?

People like it- and work gets done sooner, both theirs and mine. That can improve relationships and move us forward sooner. And delight is the critical partner of reliability. (Remember the equation – T=r+d.) If you care about “personal brand,” this can, for better or worse, be a distinguishing factor.

It is all too easy to make people say “wow” so why not do it?

Return calls, emails, notes, and texts; do it in a timely fashion.

This habit will show people they are valued, set yourself apart, and get things done.

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