Communicating in today's world

November 8, 2013

Nashville Business Journal



Technology is moving forward at a breakneck pace — and the world of communication is changing just as fast. Leaders in the business world need to know how to balance both technology and traditional communication tools.

Here are a few simple tips:
Text. Texting in the business sphere is best kept to messages that relay short facts or scheduling information, such as letting an employee know you will be five minutes late.

Email. People are busy, get overloaded with emails and often scan content, so keep emails succinct. Avoid overusing pictures or other unnecessary attachments. Most importantly, don’t vent in an email.

Facebook. It’s best to steer clear of Facebook for business communication. Let the experts handle your company’s profile and communications online.

E-cards. These are casual digital communication tools often overlooked or even deleted by recipients. For important or official business communication, revert to traditional paper cards and invitations.

Cell phone. When you are in a one-on-one meeting with a team member, conducting a business lunch or discussing details in the boardroom, the only acceptable thing to do is turn off your cell phone. All the way off.

Telephone. How we’ve forgotten the good ol’ horn. With email and texting, we’ve nearly eliminated the need to talk on the telephone. When a topic is really important, pick up the phone.

Pen and paper. Put your most important communication in writing that’s well organized and easy to read. When in doubt, go old-fashioned. You’ll make a lasting impression.

Joe Scarlett is the retired CEO of Tractor Supply Co. He can be reached at joe@joescarlett.com

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