Reply To All Snowball - Know When To Escalate Communication
I was chatting on IM to Jeff today and we were going back and forth and back and forth and it became ridiculous. Just pick up the phone.
IM is great, truly. I get to stay connected to all sorts of folks that I either wouldn't be able to call as often, or where a one-line "what's up" email would be a burden to them or a todo.
I find the little piece of "blue toast" that pops up to be very comforting in fact - "Ah, Carl's still out there. How nice."
However, I think it's important to Know When To Escalate the conversation to the Next Level, that might look like one of the following:
- IM to Phone
- Phone to Lunch (in Person)
- Email to In Person
- In the Cube to In a Meeting Room
How do you know when to take it to the Next Level?
- When an email thread goes by that is a "Reply to All Snowball," where folks not only continue to Reply to All, but they also CC: more and more people with each Reply to All...it's time to escalate the communication.
- When your hands start to hurt while typing an Instant Message...it's time to escalate the communication.
- When you actually get angry that you can't get your thoughts into an mail as fast as you can think...it's time to escalate the communication.
- When you can't say something nice in IM or email, escalate the communication and say it in person, or just let it go.
- If you use impersonal communication in an electronic format, it will almost always be a career limiting move. Check out Greg's Post on Communication Problem or Behavior Problem.
- When you've written an email so long that the scrollbar appears, it's time to escalate the communication. Seriously, no one is going to read that.
What kind of communications problems do you have?