Final week, I used to be facilitating a shopper workshop on the right way to authentically apologize. The group was discussing poor apology examples and one attendee talked about that they obtained an apology by way of prompt message on a reasonably necessary subject.
Whereas this will likely have been higher than no apology in any respect, the choice to speak an apology by prompt message clearly left a poor impression with this particular person. It highlights a problem that comes up usually when many people deal with powerful conditions:
We use the fallacious medium.
The overwhelming majority of us will try (consciously or not) to make uncomfortable conditions slightly extra snug. A method we do that is to vary communication mediums to be able to distance ourselves from the discomfort.
There’s a communication ladder we’ve got out there to us. On the backside of the ladder are issues like prompt messages and textual content messages. These communication mediums are good for quick and easy messages, however lack the richness that we get from in-person communication, equivalent to tone of voice, facial expressions, and in-the-moment responses. As we transfer up the communication ladder, dialog turns into richer, deeper, and extra customized…but in addition require a higher time and power funding.
In all probability one of the vital frequent errors when speaking in a troublesome scenario (like a disagreement, apology, or argument) is to maneuver down on the ladder by a step or extra. If we usually work together with somebody by way of cellphone, our pure tendency could also be to ship a message by electronic mail when a troublesome scenario emerges.
We do that after all as a result of it lessens discomfort. It’s simpler to simply write a textual content message or electronic mail, hit the ship button, and take into account the scenario resolved. Plus, it’s nice for us: we get to inform ourselves that we addressed the issue whereas avoiding any uncomfortable dialogue that may have occurred.
After all, good management isn’t nearly us. It’s about creating environments the place individuals can obtain a bigger imaginative and prescient. Taking a step down on the ladder in powerful conditions may could really feel higher on our finish, nevertheless it usually leaves the opposite get together with the impression that we’re avoiding them, unwilling to deal with troublesome points, or unable to apologize. Over time, this diminishes our credibility.
My problem to all of us this week is to take a step or two up the ladder when dealing with powerful conditions as a substitute of stepping down. Should you usually work together by way of cellphone with somebody, go see them in particular person when a troublesome scenario arises. If electronic mail is customary in your interactions, choose up the cellphone when there may be hassle.
Query: What’s a scenario the place you’d be prone to take a step down the communication ladder? What’s one factor you’ll do otherwise subsequent time? Go away a remark beneath.