When most of our professional communication is done via email, we often lose sight of the benefits achieved by simply picking up the phone.

Email is nice, because you can address multiple people with the same message, the recipient can read it when they’re ready, and it’s easy to reference later on…but phone conversations still have their place. Live conversations make it easier to get the emotional intelligence right, because HOW someone says something is often just as important as what’s being said.

When it comes to important business decisions, be vigilant for unproductive strings of back-and-forth emails, and try to stop them by picking up the phone and calling your point of contact. This can be difficult when you feel you need to set the record straight for everyone CC’d on the message, but you can do this more effectively if you call the sender, provide clarity, then recap the conversation in your message.

The next time you experience a miscommunication over email, have the courage to pick up the phone.