Published: 5 years ago

What’s Your Preferred Communication Gateway?

If you need me to do something for you, the best way to get ‘er done is to send me an email. You can send me a text, but it’ll likely get buried and forgotten. You can leave me a voicemail…if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks until I remember that I never did anything with your voicemail. You can have a passing conversation with me in the hallway, drop me a note in the mail, DM me on Twitter, or leave a post-it on my desk, and it might just get done. But nothing is as effective as a request via email.

For all of my digital to do lists and productivity hacks, nothing works as well or is as (almost) foolproof as my inbox. My daily goal is to hit Inbox Zero. And I don’t delete it or move it until I’ve taken some sort of action on it: answer it, put it on my calendar, etc.

So why does that matter?

Well, it doesn’t, if there’s nothing you need from me. But there’s someone you’re going to communicate with today. There’s an “ask” you’ll need to make: be it of a co-worker, a client, a spouse, or a friend. And if you don’t know their preferred communication gateway, your request may be doomed from the beginning.

If you’re a leader, chances are good that different people on your team have different styles. One person may be able to keep up with a random string of text messages; another may be more comfortable with a pad and pen in a face to face meeting. Caring about their preference means you care about their success, so do what it takes to figure it out. It’ll pay off for both of you.

So what’s your preference? Comment below, if you’d like. Just don’t leave me a voicemail.


(photo credit: David Cosand)

  1. Definitely email for me too.

  2. Scott Pearce says:

    I was just thinking about this yesterday and agree that email is preferred.

    What I find frustrating is when I initiate contact with someone such as a vendor etc. I usually do so by email and ask them to reply to me by email. They will often then call the office day after day leaving messages for me instead of just sending me the simple answer I’ve asked for.

    I use this example constantly to remind our managers to be aware of our customers preferred communication method and to always use that first.

  1. […] out your preferred communication style. I talked about this recently, but it carries weight here: you need to know what process will get your attention. For me, I’m […]

  2. […] Read the entire original post here. […]

  3. […] 2. They forgot about it. We’re all busy. Well-meaning people sign up for well-advertised events, but the meeting time comes around and they don’t. The chances are good that they’re not trying to ditch you, they just forgot to write it down. Are you sending friendly reminders a couple of days before? [Related post: What’s Your Preferred Communication Gateway?] […]

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