Promoting direct exchanges

What is the impact of communication by email on our interpersonal and professional exchanges? On our "relational productivity"? Numerous managers complain of the loss of direct contact between the members of their own team and, at the same time, a weakening of its synergy. How can you intervene once people's habits are already well established?
Forge your own position
Inspiring new practices of communication requires having a clear vision yourself of the situation to be transformed and the goal to be attained: what is my position regarding communication by email?
More specifically:
- What is the frequency of emails in our communication today?
- Of what nature are they?
- Which ones generally produce their desired effect and which ones don't create progress?
- In what ways are we satisfied or dissatisfied with this mode of communication?
- What would I like to achieve?
Involve the team in joint reflection
The members of your team probably see advantages and disadvantages in communication by email. What's needed is to present it as a topic for discussion, as much for sharing a diagnosis of the situation as for defining a common objective that has meaning at the collective level: what can we improve together and with what aim?
Launch an initial phase of experimentation  
There is certainly no universal solution for bringing about change, but there are stages of experimentation that can be defined. For example, you can propose that the team work on reaching an initial objective within a certain time period:
- Only using email for this or that type of subject (notably for factual information)
- Only sending one email on a given subject and then picking up the phone or getting up from your desk if that was not enough to take care of the question
- Never responding to an email with a criticism
- ...       

Each question has only one correct response, but be careful: among the possible responses there is one that is "almost correct" and might make the choice harder!

1 / 3   Noticing a lack of productivity!
You find that the use of email has become counter-productive, both within your team and with the other departments. What do you do about it?
You send a general email alerting everyone to the phenomenon "too many emails".
Little chance you will be email!
You suggest, to your peers, starting a working group "less emails" involving collaborators from each team. 
Yes, good idea involving your colleagues and the collaborators themselves.
You get your collaborators to think about finding alternative ways of communicating.
Why not? but it would be better to involve their colleagues from the other departments.
You implement a “good email practices” charter.
The charter will have more impact if it is formulated by the teams. 
2 / 3   Dealing with problems
You notice that the majority of problems are dealt with by email, which creates tension. What do you do?
You ask your team to respect the rules: no colours, no capitals, just facts...
Better to help the team answer in a verbal manner.
You ask your team to use the telephone as soon as tension mounts.
Relevant request, but if the collaborators are not comfortable with managing tension, there is a risk it will have no effect. 
You ask a team member who uses the telephone to deal with problems to show the team how he does it.
Interesting question, but for later (to be associated with response 4) because what works well for one won't necessarily work for the others.
You organise team training on how to convert email replies into verbal replies, based on real situations.
Yes, for example, based on recent contentious emails and using role plays, on the theme of "I pick up the telephone". The objective: showing that talking is more effective when it comes to solving problems. 
3 / 3   A source of stress
Several studies show that emails reception is a source of stress. What do you do to reduce this adverse effect?
You determine, with your team, standard response deadlines. 
Yes. Indeed, stress comes from a feeling of having to "reply immediately". Defining a response deadline, known to all, will reduce the pressure.
You organise stress management training.
Best first determine with the team the response time rules to reduce the feeling of urgency caused by emails.
You ask your team to not reply to emails other than those with high importance. 
Risky because they could miss out on important information. And this will not necessarily reduce the stress.
Your score is
You finished!
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