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The Many Different Forms of Communication

October 11, 2012

How technology impacts our business relationships and conversations.

Today, no matter what you are doing (buying a car, finding a new job or looking for a babysitter) there are many different ways to quickly and effectively communicate. Although modern technology was designed to make our lives easier and more efficient, we still seem to run into problems even when all we have to do is hit the send key.

As a member of the KLR Executive Search Group, I try to find the best fit for each position I fill. Communication to my clients and candidates in a timely manner is essential to my business day. My response, good news, bad news or no news at all, can have a huge impact on someone’s life. I pride myself on keeping communication timely, although sometimes it doesn’t always work as planned.

Last Monday a friend of mine asked me to do him a huge favor, talk with his wife (we will call her Gina for the purpose of this blog), who was ready to make a move back into the working world. Even without a resume (which she needed my help compiling and reviewing) and her apprehension to face the changes in the working world, I was happy to talk with her.

As it turned out, I called Gina later that day with a part-time opportunity. With a quick interview timeline, we pulled together a resume and she gave me special instructions on how to contact her via text message (rather than call her) if she was selected to interview.

The next day I was notified that unfortunately, Gina was not selected to interview for this position. I drafted the text she requested letting her know the news. “I am sorry, but my client decided to go with one of the other candidates. I know it’s disappointing but now I have your resume in my database and can market your background quickly when another part-time position becomes available.” I hit SEND with a bit of hesitation, as I don’t like to communicate disappointing news in an email or text and would much rather make the phone call or visit with her in person (even better).

I did not hear from Gina that afternoon but figured she probably did not have the time to respond. I still had not heard from her on Friday morning and called to touch base. Gina’s tone was much different than in past conversations, undoubtedly, she was upset. I could tell something was wrong when she said; “I had expected you to notify me about the interview and I never heard anything.” “WHAT???? How could that be?” I said. “I sent you a text just as you had requested as soon as I found out.”

Turns out Gina never received my text. How could that have happened? I hit send and since I did not receive an “undelivered” message, I assumed it connected. I felt terrible. She did not hear anything from me in three days. After the better part of an hour trying to gain back a bit of understanding and trust, I explained that I assumed my text message reached her that morning.

Lesson learned: we live in a fast-paced world and texting is one of the many great tools to communicate. For me, nothing works quite like a phone call, but I learned the hard way and will never assume and will always follow up on texts and emails.

The KLR Women CPA’s Business Exchange Group reinforces the firm’s ongoing strategy to retain the best and brightest talent in the industry and connects successful women business leaders. As one of the largest accounting firms in New England, KLR recognizes that a commitment to women is a commitment to excellence. Professionals in this group have experience in tax, audit, wealth management, executive recruiting, business valuation and consulting in a variety of industries.

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