After the third e-mail on a given topic, pick up the phone or visit and talk

This humble, but practical bit of advice comes from the ACC Docket, March 2012 at 32. E-mail serves best to transmit information that doesn’t need discussion. Long threads of e-mails, especially if there are multiple people copied and they weigh in, become unwieldy quickly. It is much more effective to call someone and talk about the situation rather than take time to write possibilities and explanations.

It feels to me, as I indulge is some curmudgeonly kvetching, that many people nowadays hide behind e-mail. Real time talk scares them, or else they are so used to endless text messages and quick replies that they are not comfortable with the directness of facts exchanged and decisions made..

So, when it is clear that e-mail has bogged down, go to someone’s office or call them. Three’s the charm.

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