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Joan’s tech tips: Communicate their way

Good communication is not about what you want to say.

Good communication is about what the other person wants/needs to hear. More important, it’s how the other person wants/needs to hear from you.

You’ll be more successful when your communication styles match.


If someone emails you to request information, email the information. Don’t waste their time by interrupting their day with a phone call. They don’t want a call. They want an email with the necessary info.

If someone phones and asks you to call back, call back … unless you want to send a clear signal that you wish to limit the interaction.  Quite often, limiting interaction is the wise communication choice. If that’s the case, reply with a short courteous email (it will save your time – and theirs). Or, when necessary, simply don’t respond. They’ll get the message.

If someone texts you and requires an immediate response, then text back prompty. Absolutely do not bother them with a phone call.

Summary: Do not bother people with unrequested, or unnecessary, or unwanted phone calls. There’s a reason people choose to text or email you. Pretty much, that reason is: “I don’t want to waste time. Let’s keep this short.”

It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It by Joan Detz

“Fresh advice … keen insights … short, memorable lessons. A pithy manual … an excellent tool.” (Publishers Weekly)

Joan’s Tech Tips: An occasional series of quirky tips for anyone who has to communicate