Isn’t it nice when everything falls into place, when you go from clarity to clarity, when your job runs smoothly and you really feel you’re getting something done???
Well, every now and then, everything stalls.?? You know what it can be like: You’re progressing nicely and suddenly, you end up talking to an answering machine.
You need to make a decision on something with someone, so you ask her to call back. She calls you back later when she’s available, but at that point you’re in a meeting, with your cell phone turned off. She leaves a message and says something like “We seem to miss each other all the time, but try to reach me when you can, I think I’m available tomorrow morning”.
The next morning, you are on an airplane, but you call her as soon as you have landed ... and is answered by “Welcome to Anna’s voicemail ...”. Once again, you leave a message: “This is quite strange, it seems like we just can’t get a hold of each other, but call me back as soon as you can.” Since you’re in meetings for the rest of the day, you miss her call again, after which you call her back, and well, end up with the voice mail inbox again. You’ve called each other so many times now that it seems ridiculous to leave another message.??It goes on and on like this in limbo, not forever, but long enough to make you lose momentum, feel frustrated and lose your focus.??One way to move it forward is to switch to e-mailing, which isn’t dependent on direct contact, but of course, wouldn’t it be nice if you could continue to make your calls and still move forward in your project, with your assignment, with your business process?
Create as much value as possible in your voicemail message. Here are some examples:
- Leave the information you had intended to talk about “live”.
- Ask a specific question to which the other person can reply ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to, when reaching your voicemail, or via text message.
- Ask a more elaborate question, even though it might result in a counterquestion, which the other person can leave on your voice mail when he calls back.
The important thing is that you in each step bring the communication forward, instead of just talking about that you didn’t reach the person in question and that he or she is welcome to try to reach you again. It need not be any advanced communication, as long as it keeps the progressive movement going.
Ask yourself: How can I bring this one step further in the right direction?
Like a walkie-talkie
Suddenly, your voicemail conversation (and your counterpart’s) can work as an auditory mail correspondence. If it works for the walkie-talkie, couldn’t it work for voice mail? Perhaps you managed to solve everything you wanted to discuss over the phone through voice mail? Then the problem is solved.
How do you manage?
How do you manage to avoid becoming a victim of the circumstances and instead smoothly sail past unexpected obstacles in your work day?
Feel free to leave a comment below!