Communication skills

Business communication styles: mobile vs email

- May 4, 2008 2 MIN READ

There’s nothing like an article on mobile phone manners to get people stirred up. In this article I look at the mobile vs email debate. Which business communication style do you prefer?

I am a real phonephobe. I only ever use my mobile to talk or text John-Paul, in fact it may as well be a walkie talkie. And it’s no mistake that both my mobile and landline numbers are absent from my business card.

Email, on the other hand, is my best friend.

Others are the opposite. Lissanne Oliver reckons you should Bring back phone calls! Email sucks sometimes.”

She has a point. After all, it is almost always quicker than email. The spoken word is harder to misinterpret, too. We’ve all had those emails that leave us wondering “Is he being shirty with me?”

Still I don’t like the phone. I don’t enjoy having to respond there and then to unexpected calls. This dislike is even more acute now I have a baby; feeding her, cleaning her and getting her to sleep are particularly incompatible with “Ring! Ring! Pick me up please!”

And turning voicemail on and off is just a faff.

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I think the phone best suits 9 to 5ers, who are at their desk and available to callers during the traditional working day. But does that describe most soloists? It doesn’t describe this one.

What I love about email is that you are in control of both when you read and respond to messages. I also find the soft copy paper trail useful, particularly now I have mumnesia.

But the sheer volume of messages can easily get on top of you unless you’re careful. It’s why I don’t understand people who use read receipts. Don’t they have enough going on in their inbox?

On rereading I sound like a hugely grumpy misanthrope. Funny that.

What are your thoughts on business communication styles? Do you prefer using the phone or email? Let it all out and remember, if the phone doesn’t ring, it’s me.