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  • @Arc52Cathy

Planning tips 5. Use the phone, not email. Log your calls

As I said back in January, this one is simple. The more complicated the matter the easier it will be to deal

Telephone log. Cite @Arc52Cathy if you want to use this image

with by talking rather than writing. I think many of us instinctively understand this, but talking to people, isn’t that a bit ‘close’ or even presumptuous of me? I have rarely (if ever) regretted choosing to telephone about a complex request rather than email. But mostly I email. My cue to pick up the phone is when I’m finding the email difficult to write or if I need action quickly.

If you’re worried about your audit trail, or proof that you took a particular action you can follow up by email if you need to, but do keep a brief log - just in case that senior person demands to know when X was agreed to and by whom. You can see from my photo that my log is brief. A senior colleague once couldn’t remember having agreed an area of responsibility with me (i.e. her responsibility). Things were going badly and worse, other people were feeling my colleague’s wrath around my alleged failure. The onus was on me to prove myself as the inference was that I had failed in my role. Fortunately I had my telephone log and was able to evidence the time and date and broad content of the forgotten phone call. It was enough; tempers cooled and we moved on (and I got an apology).

You don’t need anything fancy; I got mine from the stationers, but a notebook will do. You just need to use it – so keep it near the telephone.

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