Time management has to be one of the biggest issues in today’s business world. Whether it is about “managing” your time or, more philosophically, knowing more precisely what you really want to achieve in your life, people everywhere are struggling with the constraints of this 24-hour day. One of the key challenges is knowing how to manage the plethora of communication tools and devices. At once our ally and our enemy, these new communication platforms need taming!

The other day I had a 9h30 meeting at a café in Paris. In France, it is customary to allow for a “15-minute” cushion. At 9h45, the “polite” 15 minutes late had thus expired. At around 9h55, the individual showed up and, behind a rushed, “sorry, I’m late!” spouted out: ”But, did you receive my message?” No, I had not, I answered, mildly aggrieved. It turned out, he had just sent me an email.

What Ms Manners might say…

      1. First, there is the general concept of respect that comes with being on time. Depending on your culture, there is obviously more or less indulgence on tardiness. I would submit, however, that in today’s busy and connected world, there is less and less tolerance for lateness.
      2. Secondly, there are the excuses that come with being late, some of which are absolutely valid, others are visibly vapid. When there is more than one excuse, you kind of wonder whether the world is against your invitee or that he/she may not have it all together (aka, is full of it).
      3. Thirdly, there is the element of communication and contingency. When you have a meeting that has been set up (and accepted) for 9h30, arriving at 9h55 is quite late. Sending an email at 9h48 (see below) that doesn’t even establish an ETA, just does not cut muster.
Email Communication

When an email just doesn’t cut it…

Email communication & getting the channel right

As cheap and efficient as email might be, it is not right for all types of communications. Companies (and individuals) are far too often lazy in their style of communication, looking for the short cuts. There is no doubt that email is a fantastic tool for helping drive business — as an internal communication tool as well as for external customer relationship management. However, it is not a one-size fits all. Just as this individual above was not appropriately mindful of the style, timing or channel, we all need to be relevant and time-specific in our communications. This, at its core, is what will drive successful personalized marketing. {Tweet this!} Somehow, we need to inject an element of digital manners into our communications such that the recipient is thankful of the value that is contained within. The alternative? Well, it can be enough to provoke a blog post rant… And that does not augur well for good word of mouth!

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