So much time is wasted and frustration created because we read to respond instead of understand. You see this frequently with social media comments, but it happens often in our work.
We’re more focused on responding quickly than responding thoroughly. My challenge to you is to practice O.M.R. One-message resolution.
I used to work in a call center. As you may guess calls are timed. The quicker I answer the caller’s question, the more calls I can take. But we if were only measuring speed we are setting everyone up for failure. Speed isn’t the goal. Thoroughness is the goal; this is known as O.C.R. One-call resolution. One-call resolution means you understood the root cause of their problem and addressed it thoroughly so they don’t call back repeatedly for the same problem.
- Do you fully understand the problem? Ask questions to confirm you understand what they’re telling you.
- Did you fully address the problem? Did we solve the root cause of their problem or just address the surface-level question?
- Did you fill in the gaps for what they didn’t know to ask? Great leadership, regardless of title, is service to others. It means anticipating their needs and fulfilling them.
The steps I took to help callers apply to communication with clients and team members whether by email, DM, text, Slack, Notion, etc.
- Do I fully understand the situation?
- Am I clear on what I need from them? Or what do they need from me?
- Am I respectful of their time and including everything they need to make a decision or complete a request? This may include links to resources, attachments, screenshots, or preselected options.
There’s no reward for the quickest response or achieving inbox zero. Your reward for OMR is fewer messages, less frustration and anxiety, increased trust from clients and teams, and better relationships.
You get to choose.
Read more tips in the Managing Communication section of the complimentary Leadership Journal.