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Communication Vortex

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Do you ever feel like you’re in this vortex world where no matter what you do that day, it just feels like you can’t do anything right and everyone is criticizing you? Yeah, well, I do. Today is one of those days. Maybe it’s because I’m communicating with others via email and messages instead of face to face or on the phone. I used to think I was a good communicator via email until recently. Sometimes I just can’t seem to get my point across or the story is so complicated that it’s really hard to relay via email. There are some topics that just need to be discussed in person. But sometimes those people who need to know are not available face to face or by phone. I’m trying to wrap my head around it and figure out a better way to communicate via email when I have to. I can try to save the topics for an in-person conversation but I know that the conversation will not happen for a long time or the issue needs to be addressed right away. I’ve never been a good phone person even though I know that picking up the phone to discuss a topic can be so much easier, and shorter. I always remember my dad making comments about not understanding why people don’t just pick up the phone or walk to the other person’s office. Maybe it’s my generation.

One tool we’ve started using in the workplace is the SBAR tool – situation, background, assessment, recommendation and when used properly it can help give the receiver the information needed to make a decision or weigh in on a particular topic. But if not used regularly, the SBAR tool can be clunky and cause more work than is necessary to use. I’ll have to explore other options that might be useful. I typically write in such a narrative manner that it can be hard to get the point across sometimes without feeling I’ve left all of the context and details out. But I can understand from the receivers point of view that when you’re busy and being asked for your input, you really just need the concise details. I also think that sometimes I’m not quite sure of the actual question I want to ask and am circling around it in email. I’ve been known to shoot off emails and then have further thoughts afterwards and send multiple followup emails. I know that this is annoying and can be viewed as a waste of time; it’s something I’m working on. I’m just so quick in my initial thoughts that I have an itchy trigger finger. I’ve started waiting to respond to emails and think through my response but it doesn’t come naturally to me.

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