The blog

Previous article

Next article

22 Sep

Don't let the voice mail trouble you

Datum: 2010-09-22 11:58

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?

Do this

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!