“Let’s have a chat. Do you have a minute?”
It’s hard to disagree with the spoken word.
When you’re in conversation with someone, and actually speaking to them in person or on a telephone, that conversation as it happens is so much more powerful than a back and forth “discussion” via text, or letter or email.
Print conversations are so very one dimensional.
Depending upon the parties involved, a print conversation can go off on a tangent unexpectedly, and that is primarily because the discussion being had is only words on paper, rather than speech.
Speech adds inflection.
Speech adds tonality.
Both inflection and tonality can be difficult to communicate and appreciate in a conversation on paper.
During a written discussion, time can be both your enemy, and your friend…
During a written conversation, having time between comments can be detrimental to the discussion, as it can cause either party to over-think their response, and in so doing, one or both parties may lose the spontaneity of the moment.
Sometimes, short, shallow responses that are not overthought can lead to true insight during discussion..
Sometimes delayed comments that are long, drawn out and crafted, can be stilted, and can close down conversations.
[Having an undisclosed third party “advisor” in a written conversation can be a sure-fire way for continuing a conflict and failing to reach a resolution]
In the work environment…
At work, there are times where things need to be said quickly, actioned immediately, and be moved on from. In these cases, face to face conversations work very well in getting things dealt with and moved on from.
At other times at work, documentation of issues in a clearly written form is imperative to ensure that all present are accepting of the conversation being had, and of the intent of that conversation.
During cases of disagreement and conflict…
Usually during cases of disagreement and conflict between people, nothing resolves the conflict better than just getting on the phone or meeting up for coffee to work through things.
You can’t beat a face-to-face apology and a handshake or a hug in helping to smooth over misunderstandings.
In workplace situations, two parties that disagree can usually find resolution using face to face dialogue and conversation.
Trying to achieve resolution by sending letters, emails, and text messages is usually futile. These are usually only used where one side is attempting to bludgeon the other party into a position of submission. When the instigator’s position is weak, the responder will most often triumph. But there will be no conciliation between the parties [which may actually be a good thing].
If you want resolution…
If you’re seeking to solve and resolve disagreements and misunderstandings, then meet face to face, and walk away as friends.
If you choose to resolve by keyboard or by pen, there may not be a happy ending.
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