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I want to share my true feelings when it comes to group text messages. (My feelings towards the “reply all” when it comes to email are also the same.)

As I am sure that you are well aware, a group text message is when a communication to a group of people can be handled by one convenient text that includes every member of the group. In the same manner, a group email accomplishes the same goal.

On the surface, this is a simple, and convenient tool that can speed up communication that in turn frees up the valuable commodity of time.

Now that I have cleared up the definition for these two convenient tools, I want to get back to my feelings on them.

I hate them, so just stop it! Now that I have cleared that up, maybe we can move to another topic.

Not so fast, though, there is a leadership lesson that we can glean from this convenient tool of annoyance.

I have a friend that has a large number of children (6), and he told me something the other day that reminded me of the group text message. He told me that he tried raising all of his children the same, and he and his wife were failing as parents. He told me that when he speaks to them, he has to use a different tone, different words and for his daughter he even knows when the best time of the day to speak to her.

This got me to thinking about leadership and communicating to our team. The most convenient thing to do when communicating is to send a group text, group email, or a memo to the whole team. The problem is that each team member comes with a different personality, with different experiences, and could be dealing with different things in their lives. All of these “things” that come with the team member can affect how they receive the communication.

We as leaders need to understand that there is more to communication than just sending words out in a text or email. There is body language, personal experiences, and personalities that go along with that communication. Most of all there is passion, yours and theirs. This all is lost within the mass communication. There are some things that will not be addressed in a group setting that includes electronic groups.

So, what does this mean for us as leaders? It all boils down to personal communication. We as leaders need to have more of them.

This week’s experiment: Are you a mass-communicator suspect? If you are trying to save time by using the “reply all” or the “group text message”, just stop it. Go back to speaking directly to the people on your team.

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