Coaching in e-mail communication
My people are very fond of using e-mails for their communication with one another. I guess being in the IT business has a lot to do with this habit. But the trouble is this habit is increasingly becoming "abnormal" as it seems like almost everyone, except for me, limits this sort of communication as compared to a face-to-face talk.
Even when someone could just turn around to talk to a neighbour, which would have been faster and more personal, e-mail is being used to communicate instead. The strange thing is people here are not on the best of cordial terms. I am not sure whether it is this "e-mail addiction" that is causing this. Please help me to understand this better.
- In The Crossfire
It is a fact that a person who indulges into too much e-mail communication can be robbed of his or her human qualities of warmth and empathy. It is easy to deduce this as they lose the skill to observe, interact and engage with people naturally, which only happens in interpersonal communication. In e-mail communication none of this skill is required except perhaps good writing literacy; even then this is not expected if the person is not strong in the language he is communicating in. Consequently, he becomes "cold blooded" and "emotionless", which do not augur well in building close relationships with people.
The Bottom Line: The other downside with e-mail communication is that there is a high risk of miscommunication because not many have gone through proper training in how to write e-mails. So many write with ignorance without realising their words can hurt, and even can anger the recipients. Proper e-mailing involves manners and ethics. Some of them are, for instance, mention the person's name first before the message; be careful not to copy to (or cc) too many people (as it can imply that the sender is "playing safe") or using too many capital letters (as it can imply that the sender is rude and angry, etc). So it pays to educate your people on the right way to e-mail communication.
More importantly, encourage them to use face-to-face communication more often.
Powerful Questions: What do you learn from the current scenario? What do you want to see happening? What does it tell that you should be doing? What comes into your mind among the first few things you need to work on now?
MAKING SENSE OF THE COMPANY'S DIRECTION
I feel that I have given clear direction to my people but my employees are still saying that they do not know what I want. This is frustrating as I always make sure that they are clear about the company's vision and mission. I am wondering now whether they are using this as an excuse so that they do not blame themselves for their lackadaisical work attitude, which is causing the company to perform below par over the last two years. How can I get them on their feet again and not blame others for the company's poor showing?
- Blame Game
Instead of pointing fingers as to who is to be blamed, it works better that you take charge of the situation by taking responsibility of it so that everyone moves forward. Taking responsibility could mean owning up that just having a vision and mission for the company alone is not sufficient. As you know many organisations have lofty ones that are hung up on their walls but do not mean much to their people.
The Bottom Line: There are a number of measures you can take to ensure that your direction is crystal clear to them. Have your vision and mission translated into bit sizes so that they are simple to be understood. For instance, instead of saying that you want to be a leading organisation, say something like, "I want to see long queues of people waiting to buy our products, like people queuing up for a blockbuster movie!" Involve them in charting the direction so that they are part of the team and lesser of the audience. Explain how they fit into the big picture in their daily actions and not in some grand theories that are good only for the textbooks. Lastly, communicate, communicate and communicate to remind them of where the company is and where it should be going.
Powerful Questions: What will taking responsibility of this situation see you doing? What will be the difference between what you had been doing and now? How will the situation change? What will everybody gain when you do this?
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