What is the dominant method of communication in your organization?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

What is the dominant method of communication in your organization?

  • Meetings: 14%
  • Phone calls: 3%
  • Texts: 2%
  • Emails: 76%
  • Presentations: 0%
  • Memos: 0%
  • Videos: 0%
  • Smoke signals: 5%

Email reigns supreme… but is it effective? Email is clearly the dominant mode of communication. Are you being as effective with yours as you can be? Do you have a clear subject line that lets readers know immediately what they’re going to read? Are you deliberate about who you’re sending it to and who you’re cc’ing or do you cc everyone? Are your messages simple, clear, and well-structured or do you turn the message into a stream-of-consciousness data dump? Do people respond to your emails? A little extra time upfront in crafting a well-structured and clearly targeted email reduces inbox clutter for others and gets people to respond because they know what you’re asking for. If you end up in a ping pong match of emails, pick up the phone or go see the person after the third volley. It’ll resolve things more quickly.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."