I have a new intern, and we've spent a lot of time together in the last two weeks, walking through how to do marketing, recruiting, sales, customer service, as well as talking about trends in his generation.
One that struck me as strange was the idea of texting before calling. Talk to Gen X or Boomers, and you'll hear that not calling someone on the phone is a sign of cowardice. I certainly thought so, as I've been trained to believe that most people experience call reluctance.
Call Reluctance is a fear of picking up the phone, either because you're afraid of what won't happen, or what will. It destroys careers, and is a serious problem for salespeople, which is why sales managers are always barking, Get On The Phone! You have to make the salespeople more afraid of not picking up the phone.
It then stands to reason, that someone who won't just call, is afraid of doing so, probably from some character weakness. I've heard that many times. Heck, I've thought that many times.
So I asked.
Here's the response:
"Of course I text people. Usually to tell them to call me. It sure beats having them answer the phone and saying I'll call you back, or leaving a message that then have to listen to, and then call me and maybe get me maybe not."
What we consider a failure to communicate person to person is really a desire to save time and not perform an action that is worthless (calling someone who cannot pick up the phone, but who does so out of obligation).
I guess I learned something today.