We all have our preferred means of communication, and we are inclined in this digital age to think that faster is better. But, in some situations, exclusive use of lightning speed technology may actually delay communication. The growing popularity of email years ago gave rise to the derogatory term “snail mail” to describe older and slower postal service or even “express” systems for delivery of hard copy mail.
But, for some, “snail mail” still beats email. In one situation an executive who touts his company’s use of computer based technology remains reluctant to make personal use of it. Sending this CEO an email message actually guarantees as much as a 2-week communication delay. His orders to his assistant – who actually receives his email – is to print it all out once every two weeks and put it into his in-box in a neat stack. He may then read it along with letters, magazines, advertisements, and other mail.
This may seem like an extreme case these days, but it illustrates the importance (and advantage) of utilizing several means of communication to deliver a message. Don’t forget face to face conversation, the telephone, the postage stamp, arm waving, signing, the bullhorn, and other potentially effective ways to deliver a message. (See also Practice the Hand-off.)