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It's Not You, It's Me: A Reminder That Communication Remains A Two-Way Street "At the end of the day, when it comes to communication, it's never just about you- in fact, I'd actually argue that it should always be centered on whoever is on the other side of the conversation."

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


As a journalist, I have come to accept (and gotten pretty used to) absolute strangers pitching to me on my email, phone, and social media- but I'd like to hereby state for the record that I draw the line at voice notes.

I've never been a fan of voice notes- I think it's the writer in me that questions the efficacy of long-winded, often rambling messages using one's voice, as opposed to the clarity of words put down on paper -so to speak- after at least a modicum of thought. I also find them quite inconsiderate- it is often for the sender's convenience that a voice note is made, and very rarely does it take into account the receiver's thoughts on the matter. You may be "too busy" to type out a message, but, hey, why is that my problem? Plus, why do you assume that I've got the time to listen to and decipher your seven-minute-long podcast? And if we're going by that logic, why couldn't you have used that same amount of time to craft a concise message instead?

Now, of course, I will admit that there are times when a voice note is necessary to explain something better, or simply to have a more personal tone with the recipient. That said, this can't happen all the time- it should be treated as an exception to the rule, not as the norm.

Keeping all of this in mind, it's quite easy to understand why I find it perplexing when businesses have their representatives reach out to me through voice notes. Is this really the way you want to introduce yourself to someone you're keen on interacting with in a professional context? Let's also not forget that all of us are in the midst of a competition for attention spans in which every interaction counts, and that's why I think it's high time all of us rethink our approaches to outreach.

At the end of the day, when it comes to communication, it's never just about you- in fact, I'd actually argue that it should always be centered on whoever is on the other side of the conversation. Plus, it's not just about what we say that determines the success of our interactions- it's how we say it as well. So, spare me the voice notes, and while you're at it, tamp down on the emoji use as well. We can definitely be better than that.

Related: Beware The Mirage: In A World Of Bravado, Seek Substance

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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