Monster Contributing Writer
Email and texting make workplace communication quick and easy, but they can also cause trouble or make a bad situation worse. While electronic conversations are convenient, some topics and situations require a phone call or an in-person chat.
Here are five workplace conversations you should only have over the phone or face-to-face.
1. Offering Kudos and Criticisms
If you have problems with an employee’s performance, you need to talk to her in person, says Rich Gee, CEO of the Rich Gee Group. “You want them to get the true meaning of the modification and to change their behavior immediately,” he explains. If you need to get someone back on track or deliver a reprimand, do it face-to-face.
Conversely, calling attention to accomplishments should also happen in person, again because it’s difficult to get the desired reaction through phone or email, he says.
2. Pointing Out Problems
“If you have concerns about your co-workers or other managers in the department, you must have the conversation face-to-face with that person or with your boss about that person,” says business coach Farnoosh Brock. Sending emails about your co-workers is a great way to get caught in work gossip.
Also, “never email or text a colleague if you're in a conflict and feeling testy,” says career coach Anna Graham Hunter. “You may think that you can hide your annoyance and compose a clear, emotionless statement of your position, but you would be wrong,” she says. It’s almost impossible to craft an email that presents your case without emotions coming through.
“If you actually need to accomplish something and you need the other person to do it, then pick up the phone or have the conversation face-to-face. It may feel scarier, but it will be far more productive,” Hunter says.
3. Announcing Personnel Changes
Firings, resignations and other personnel announcements should be made in person to the people involved, experts say.
“If you are the employee, you should never quit a job or give your two-week notice via text or email,” says Paige Graham, a professor at the University of the Rockies School of Organizational Leadership.
Employers should not fire, lay off or communicate other negative changes by text or email, she adds. However, “while the initial conversation