Today, I had one of those email days with a co-worker.  You know what I’m talking about: I had a problem and sent an email.  He replied with an email.  I replied with an email.  Email, email, email.  The problem wasn’t getting solved, and worse, we were escalating and misunderstanding each other over and over.

And the sad part is, we were working in rooms next to each other, separated by a hallway.

Here at Fellowstream, we created an online tool to track work progress for the very reason that we don’t like to interrupt people at work.  When you’re constantly poking someone at their desk, they can’t get any work done.  Much better to send them a reminder to do a task or have some other way to figure out what they’re up to.

Still, oral communication like talking on the telephone trumps emails and yes, even collaboration tools like Fellowstream, when the time calls for it.  And nothing beats a little face-to-face time, if you can swing it.

So how did my co-worker and I solve our problem?  We took a break, walked around the block and talked, and boom, problem solved.  Not only that, but we hashed through a few other issues looming on the horizon.

Remember that there is a time and place for everyone.  You can’t always bug people, but you can’t always hope that technology will solve your problems.  You need to integrate solutions that foster communication.  That’s your only objective in finishing projects and creating well functioning teams.

-Deborah Fike

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