Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to communicate for the best result possible:
Lessons from Kathryn

This is another one post where I share with you another great insight I learned from Kathryn Kemp, my boss and one of my mentors. We are up to 21 posts now of things I've learned from her although it's actually been a lot more than that.

Kathryn loves text messaging and does it often, even for business purposes. Years ago when we were first starting to work together she texted me about something important she wanted to ask me about for work - something above and beyond my normal course of duties.  I am often blessed to do special projects for work, and never lose sight of the honor it is to be asked and entrusted.

When we got on the phone to confer about things she quickly apologized for texting me and said she was reminded never to do it again when it is something important she wants to ask me about. I never complained about her texting me but she knew from previous personal conversations we've had about our lives in general that it's my least preferable form of communication and sometimes downright gets on my nerves.

I told her that being that she's my boss and had something important to ask me, I have no problem with the fact that she texted me. She replied once again that she would not be doing that again, as she wanted to communicate with me in the style I'm most comfortable with whenever we are discussing something important. She has never again texted me about something important, for the last three years. Most times she e-mails me as she knows it's my preferred method and even when she's going to call she e-mails first to see what the best time to call would be.

There's pretty much almost nothing I wouldn't do for my boss. If it's within my power, I'll do it. If it's not, I'll pray that God would help me do it anyway.

On the flip side, I know that Kathryn LOVES texting so I don't hesitate to send her one if I need something important. I know she powers down her computer on certain days off and doesn't turn it back on nor does she want to be asked to. (She would keep her boundaries and not turn it back on, which I respect.) She prefers a text. So I do that. I know that if I want a good relationship with my boss, this is important.

There are others who report to Kathryn who prefer a text, or a call. She knows who prefers what and acts accordingly to bring the best work out of that person.

It pays for you to know the people's preferences who work with and for you, and those in your larger network that you rely on.  Particularly if you want or need something from people, results tend to be more favorable if you ask in the manner that they best receive information.

And since I'm on this subject - for those who do text me, it would be good for you to know that I tend to check my text messages twice a day - in the morning when I wake up and at night before bed. I know that it's important that I check them daily, and I do. However, I enjoy texting about as much as flossing. Which might explain why you can go a whole day before getting a reply.  

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