While we know to a large extent, business runs on email these days, or if you’re under the age of 30, you’ll be using mobile apps as much as you can. Neither an App nor email completely replaces the value of a telephone call. In this article, you’ll learn the telephone call is not dead!
So when is a phone call is more effective than email, and why is it important to recognize when it can make a big difference to your communications?
While our preference in business is to send out a quick email, the real message can be lost in translation; therefore, sometimes it’s essential to take the extra step and pick up the phone. With that in mind, here are some occasions when a phone call can be more effective than an email.
When trying to convey authority
No matter how good you are at writing, it can be hard to convey the correct tone via email. All of your words are up for interpretation, and different readers are going to interpret your message slightly differently, even from the same email.
When you speak to someone on the phone though, you can convey tone much more accurately, giving your message greater authority.
When you want to convey an important message
You might know from personal experience that people’s inboxes can be messy affairs. There are lots of unopened messages, and any new ones go into a queue to be dealt with at some stage.
If you’re trying to send an important message though, you don’t want to be sat hoping the other person has got it. Instead, you can pick up the phone and know for sure the other person received the message.
Therefore this is just one of the reasons why today’s businesses still need to make sure they’re investing in their phone services through companies like Kortek Solutions. Your most important messages should be delivered via the phone rather than email.
When you’re apologizing
Apologies are tricky things, and they’re something you want to get right.
While emails give you the advantage of being able to spend time picking out the exact words, they often miss the more human elements that an apology needs. Part of an apology is fronting up and facing the person you’re apologizing to, and this is much better achieved when you pick up the phone.
When someone has questions
When you’re emailing someone about something complicated, then it’s likely, even preferable, they come back with questions. However, you don’t want a constant trickle of questions dripping into your inbox. Instead, you want to be able to get them answered as efficiently as possible.
If you’re explaining more complicated ideas by phone, then you don’t have the back and forth of email and can explain things much more quickly.
When you’ve taken too long to respond
Sometimes you forget to reply to an important email; it happens. However, at some point, you’ve got to get back to the person, and you want to show that despite the fact you took a long time to reply, you’re still taking their email seriously.
In these cases, it’s a great idea to pick up the phone and give them a call. It shows that you’re taking things seriously and you’re ready to deal with the issue at hand.
When it’s something personal
Few people want to hear personal news through an email. Confidential information should be given a personal touch, and a telephone call is much more useful for this.
It’s just as easy to pick up the phone, and people will appreciate the time you took to be more sensitive with the personal information you wish to convey. The other option is to use video conferencing, not that takes communication to a new level.
How To Avoid Burnout
If there is a time that’s more likely to tip you to burnout it’s right now. Every year ending we get busier with projects ending, management keen to close off customer-related tasks so the business can start afresh in the new year.
Yes, you might love your job but there is only so much anyone can take right? What makes it harder to tolerate in November and December is the coldest months are still ahead of us!
Therefore burning out is a real condition that affects workers in different ways.
The troubling signs you may be heading for a breakdown or burning out include:
- more irritable
- increase in negativity
- trouble sleeping
- snapping at others
- lack of empathy or caring
- always tired
There are many more symptoms to look out for and when you realise all is not well with your mindset it is important to find healthy ways to avoid a full-on burnout!
Taking yourself out of the situations that led to burnout is a great way of avoiding it. Unplugging or even taking a holiday gives you the chance to leave everything behind and instead focus on your mental and physical well-being.
An added advantage of doing this is that you will get back with increased energy and be able to achieve much more than you would have if you kept going.
Reduce Mental Fatigue
A common reason for burnout is mental fatigue brought about by having an excess workload. When this happens, we are unable to think through what we want to get done first or what is more important and warrants our attention right now. When this happens, we get stressed, which leads to mental exhaustion and eventually burnout.
A good way to reduce this mental fatigue is to start working on the things that are leading to stress.
Since you already know what you need to do but are stuck due to being overwhelmed, start by taking the right kinds of actions. As you cross over from knowing into doing, start with smaller tasks that have the most impact on reducing your stress.
Once you are done with these, go down the list of things you need to do until you are left with a manageable workload. By doing this, you will have moved from a stressful state and into one where you can manage your stress and avoid burnout.
Take a Nap
Naps are a great way to disconnect and refresh and recharge the brain. Many people turn to coffee or energy drinks when they feel exhausted but that is the wrong approach. Opt for a 20-minute nap instead and you will be much better off than if you took coffee or an energy drink.
Did you know you feel more fatigued when you’re not exercising enough each day?
Exercise helps reduce stress and promotes a state of mental and physical well-being. Exercise can also make you feel a lot more energized, which can help you increase your productivity.
Regular physical training can also help you sleep better, which is another important way of avoiding burnout.
Instead of spending an extra inactive hour on the desk at work, why not go to a gym and work out? Or get a dog and then you have to go walking with it every day!
Find a Hobby
A hobby should not just be something you do at the weekend but something you are passionate about.
A hobby gives your body and mind a much-needed break from the weekly grind and allows you to reset for the coming day or week.
Nature is invigorating. Create a Zen garden or meet a friend and walk trails to get back to nature and feel instantly refreshed.
Avoiding burnout is much harder than it seems because of how we live our lives now. Remote working has relieved some of the stress of commuting however don’t fall into the trap of spending more time at your desk and on the computer.
Take the time you’ve got back doing something just for your wellbeing including some of the suggestions mentioned in this article.
Wise Words Before Starting A Business
Preparing yourself for a new role business is vital. There is no room for ‘winging-it’ even when it’s your own company! First impressions matter most, so you’ll want to hit the ground running with the wisdom, education and right mindset to face off the many challenges that will come your way. To top it off, you will need to know how to navigate your startup during tough trading times like an economic recession or pandemic!
Rather annoyingly, no one set rulebook can help you with starting a business, and there’s no blueprint to follow as no entrepreneur’s journey is ever the same.
Despite all that, there are things that many business people wish they knew before embarking on such an endeavor. In this article, we give our wise words on can make the difference between taking the straight or winding road to success with a new business.
Money Isn’t Everything
While it’s possible to get by without sound financial acumen, it’s really not where you should want to be when you’re the owner of a business. Even if numbers don’t come naturally to you learn and appreciate the financial statement and other important metrics like profit and loss. When you are competent with the balance sheet of your startup, you can dig deeper and know exactly what it is going to take to make your startup stable. For example, cash flow is king – not capital. Many early businesses have been able to raise a sizeable amount of investment and grow the revenue, but despite this, these businesses have eventually failed.
Cash flow keeps the wheels turning in a business
With ample working capital derived from cash flow, you can focus on improving the business while your team works in it.
Strategic planning to avoid troughs and peaks that threaten your service levels and thus, business reputation is an example of working on the business.
Worrying about money is detrimental to productivity, and with great cash-flow, workers are paid, marketing continues, sales go up, and your business can go from surviving to thriving.
Get An Education
Just like with money – education isn’t everything, but it will give you the confidence to make the right business decisions. Business is no walk in the park. You will need to arm yourself with skills and in areas that are currently foreign to you. Formal tertiary degrees and courses, provide the foundation from which you can grow as a business manager.
Education provider, Victoria University Online say it takes less time to get an MBA when you do it online. These courses can either give you an overview of the business to enable you to be competent and confident with all aspects of the business. Alternatively, you can choose to study a specification so that you can get expert insight and understanding into a more focused department, such as finances and leadership.
It’s also a good idea to learn some of the key skills and characteristics that many businesspeople have, such as critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and good communication.
Shouldn’t Be Work All The Time.
It can be tempting as a business owner to put all your energy into making your business a success; however, putting in over 12+ hours a day can be detrimental as it may mean you’ll suffer from burnout.
Burnout will make you extremely unproductive and can force you to make bad decisions, so you must get that right work/life balance. Working fewer hours, or appropriate hours, will help you streamline your operations and make you more efficient, and a good way to do that is through various automated software.
Separate Yourself From The Business
Business owners at some stage look to move on, and thus they have an ‘exit plan’ to sell up. Knowing how to, and when to start to ease back, so the business is a valuable asset for sale without them in it is challenging, and this is when an exit strategist is required.
Your exit strategy should be part of your overall business plan and thus from the first day onwards you’re aware that you’re not the business but an employee and shareholder within it. Are you inspired to forge ahead with a startup? See our inspirational quotes.
How To Be A Role Model In Your Business
When we’re young, and during challenging times, we all look to our role models for assurance and guidance. Roles models are everywhere; they are found in your family, friends, social influencers, celebrities, community and political leaders.
You may call them your mentors, or ‘big brother or sister’, the name is not so important, it’s what role models do that can be the difference between civility or mayhem.
Movements like the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter, and pandemics like COVID-19 are life-changing, and our role models guide our actions, some positive and some negative, and this is where life is a balancing act.
Role Models In Business
In business, it’s much the same, as we also need role models. From the top-down everyone needs a role model. Uncertainty within global and local economies can stir up feelings of apprehension and mistrust in the workplace.
If left unchecked, workers can give in to their insecurities and believe ‘they’re next in the firing line,’ i.e. it will be them out the door in a round of redundancies! Forget about worker productivity it will nose-dive too without clear leadership, and this is where role models step up and provide reassurance.
Without adequate communication, positive affirmations and confirmation that everything is being managed to the company’s best ability,
the workforce is left to their thoughts, and understandably they will fear the worst. If this sounds like the environment at your workplace, you can make a difference, by becoming a role model. You don’t need to be high up the hierarchy as anyone can show empathy when it’s most needed.
What are the attributes of a good role model?
Good Role Model Traits
One false assumption is all leaders are good role models. We can all name leaders, particularly politicians that are far from positive influencers in our lives and we can not wait to see the back of them come to the next election!
So what should a good role model have in their soft skills toolkit?
According to the Seven Traits of a Role Model, you’d be expected to have these characteristics:
You will need an abundance of empathy in all your dealings that impact on the lives of humanity. Acknowledging another person’s feelings does not mean you will stop what you’re doing or change your position, but you’re not bulldozing over them to get your way.
A thirst to know more and not being afraid to step outside their comfort zone to get it. Plus surrounding themselves with smart people and undertaking challenging tasks are all done to reach a goal.
Accept Mistakes Will Happen
Stretching the boundaries to achieve more, does come with risk, and mistakes will be made. A good role model will be humble and accept responsibility for their errors and move on as it’s all part of growing and eventually reaching the right outcome.
Having the confidence to take action shouldn’t be confused with arrogance. A good role model needs the self-belief to step up and do what others can not do, i.e. lead and take responsibility for the actions of others and maybe the whole company.
Be Your Person
Being unique and living life your way gives you a unique perspective on your role as a leader and role model. Following the crowd will not develop your leadership skills however you will need to know how to be a supportive follower too as that is what is required of your workers and they will look to you for guidance and encouragement.
If you’re a loner, it will be harder for you to communicate with your followers. A genuine interest in your peers and people provides the opportunity to hone your communication skills. Take on leadership roles outside of work. Either with a community group, sports association, or something else like a hobby or particular interest group challenge yourself to take on positions of responsibility and commitment.
Everyone can be a role model; some people become one by accident, others by design If you want to be a role model in your business, sharpen your skills and accept the challenge to make a difference in your life and work.
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