Leadership-How Does Your Team Communicate

Email is bad for you and your team because we get too many messages every day and the important internal emails get mixed up with other correspondence with people from the outside world.–Michael Sliwinski, Founder and CEO of Nozbe

Has your team ever been caught up in long chains of emails? Someone proposes an idea or someone else attacks something. Then another person “replies all”, and another, and another. Soon you’re reading down through a horrendous chain with blood pressure rising by the second.

It’s happened to me many times. I’ve also gotten caught in the problem where the important message dropped to the bottom of the list buried by the unimportant minutiae.

A few years ago I walked away from a couple of jobs that paid very well. My earnings are a little smaller, but expenses are down. And my email load? Cut by 80%. Some days I almost feel lonely.

Sliwinski says about his company, “To solve this problem we designed a new way to communicate: we use email for the outside world and something else for ‘internal communication.’ We use two apps for that: Slack and Nozbe.”

There’s a new book “Under New Management” by David Burkus that I heartily recommend. It includes some unconventional management practices, and one of them is apparently banning email. Sliwinski says it’s something he did in his company three years ago. “Something I didn’t think was new but now I see it really is. Whenever I talk about ‘No Office,’ people ask me about my email policy and they’re surprised that we banned email in our company. They give me this ‘Can you do that?’ face. Of course you can. You actually should if you want to have a productive environment for your team. Only allow email to the “outside world” and ban email within your team.”

It is worth the effort to evaluate how your team communicates. Then find the best tool. And, by the way, don’t check email every 30 seconds! Sometimes I get caught in an endless loop of answering messages. It’s asynchronous. You can choose when to answer. Choose wisely.

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