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Friday, December 20, 2013

Text, Call, or Visit?

There are many ways to communicate, as I got a lesson this morning.

Yesterday, I got a text, which I misinterpreted, due to lack of detail. We were about to commit significant resources to an ongoing project when a chance call degraded the whole effort to much ado about nothing.

Seems to me a text request is best when the answer is “yes.” A “no” response could mean “We don’t have that capability” or “I don’t know,” you figure out which. I see a lot of parents texting their kids where the answer has to be “yes.” Or else.

So then we discussed how to find something from several suppliers. Based on previous experience, calling to ask on the minus side has at best a 50% accuracy factor, and on the plus side is a lot faster than driving around. So the best response again is “yes,” with a high probability of no resolution, because the communication broke down.

There is a Dilbert cartoon sent to me years ago where the boss is asking why no progress is being made, and the underling mutters, “Well, I made some calls.” So this is a long time interest.

Because completion within a defined time is the desired outcome for this project, we decided to check likely suppliers by internet and then show up until we get an acceptable outcome.

A visit has a higher chance of finding if they really have what we want, and if not, finding an acceptable workaround.

When you ask for something are you looking for a reason to stop, a chance to continue looking somewhere else, or a completed result?

Tips 4 The Big Chair – Find something you didn’t expect!
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