Voice messages: do you communicate or stick your fingers in your ears?

voice message tweetsThink about the place of voice messages as part of a conversation please: how would you feel if you were trying to have a conversation with somebody when they put their fingers in their ears and walked away?

I was listening to BBC Radio 4 this morning (I interact with Radio 4 via various channels) as they discussed the (un)acceptability of declining to take voice messages. The grounds used by Coca Cola, and others, for declining to accept voice messages was productivity.

There then followed a discussion about the pros and cons of voicemail as a means of effective communication. Some feel it ineffective as it cannot be easily screened or triaged (think about that language – we are trying to communicate here aren’t we not drop buzzwords?).

Here are some questions to consider as we ponder this matter:

  • Should communication policies exclude some channels (at the wish of one party?)
  • What message is received about your personal or your organisation brand if you’re not prepared to hear what another is saying? When you literally refuse to listen? Stick your fingers in your ear?
  • Is it rude or is it acceptable to refuse to accept information in certain ways – is it really acceptable business practice to put your fingers in your ears?
  • Is one means of communication more or less effective or valid than one another? Why would we exclude some which may be appropriate to others?
  • As business leaders should we listen to all people, at all times?
  • What makes a communication tool ineffective or invalid?
  • How can we best maximise the individual dimension in our communication and use our senses to boost the quality of our communication?
  • Is email, text messaging or social media messaging without any sensory input really always more effective than voicemail which has one sensory input?
  • Is effective behaviour about tools, per se, or how they are used?
  • Is the message and the clarity of communication more important than the medium?
  • Do conversations and interactions always follow along one channel or do they cross platforms?

Whilst some listening to and tweeting BBC Radio 4 Today clearly are in favour of ending the use of voice messaging I think how we communicate is critical and should offer all channels which encourage the individual component.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or receive them across any channel. I’ll communicate and certainly won’t stick my fingers in my ears and pretend I can’t hear you.