Communicating at work | Disengaged via email

“I have a boss who does not like to communicate in person or on the phone.  They prefer email.  Do you have ideas to help provide the context that can be lost in email?”

When you have to work with someone who pushes off phone calls and face-to-face meetings, consider the following:

  • Seek input on subject matter experts who you can work with on first round feedback.
  • On a weekly basis, send this person your priority list. Ask for their feedback on the priorities and timeline.
  • For items that need context and are easier to talk through, use a tool like Lync to record a short demonstration (<60 seconds).  Then send the recording to them via email with any specific questions or key points typed out.
  • Similarly, record a voice memo and attach it to an email that lists questions or clarifications needed from the voice memo.
  • For projects with multiple options to choose from, sketch them and take a photo or draft via software.  Then send in email or post to a shared location. 
  • Let them know that you would like to meet once per week on the phone to talk through your highest complexity items.  Share that you will be as to-the-point as possible during this meeting.

These tips require more upfront effort on your part but can save you time and frustration in the future.