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CEOs and senior managers offer expert advice... By Fareeha Qayoom

Email, telephone, facsimile, or one-to-one meetings?

By Fareeha Qayoom



TKFR conducted a survey on the best mode of communication preferred by today’s CEO’s and managers – the use of EMAIL turned out to be popularly unanimous – some managers prefer it over one to one meetings, mail, facsimile, and telephone conversations.

Email has become an integral part of working in today’s world. A recent report estimated that over 7 trillion emails were sent worldwide last year! The average office worker now gets between 60-200 messages a day. While no one denies the obvious productivity gains we’ve realized from the efficiencies of email communication, many people find themselves drowning in all these messages. Electronic communication, because of its speed and broadcasting ability, is fundamentally different from paper-based communication. Since the turnaround time can be so fast, email is more conversational than traditional paper-based media.

So is this the most effective medium of communication?

Waseem Bukhari, the GM production at 6Sigma apparel, doesn’t agree. “The most effective mode of communication is still one to one, face to face meetings. Email is more effective tool when you need to give quick instructions; request information or to take some action but it still can’t take the place of face to face meetings in the effectiveness stakes. It’s used more as a follow-up tool than the leading mode of communication.”

Raza Ahmed, MM at Target Corporation agrees with Waseem. “It has to be combination of email and one to one meetings, though it depends. Meetings are more effective when you need to interact with people or negotiate agreements. Email is the best medium when you need to communicate routine stuff – you can cover a lot of ground. Even then, you may need to pick up the telephone to discuss some detail, though, with the phone, the time element is important. You can’t pick up a phone any time of the day so email is best when you need to work around people’s time schedules and different time zones. I think one to one meeting is the most effective mode of communication when all is said and done.”

Asif Sheikh, the area manager for YKK international prefers email. “I prefer email because it’s quick, efficient and it’s more black and white than verbal conversations.”

Azhar Iqbal, the CEO of Leisure Textiles also favors email. “Email gives you time to organize your words and thoughts in comparison to verbal conversations and face to face meetings.”

Zafar Sheikh, the CEO at Combined Fabrics also prefers email to any other mode of communication. “It’s more dependable, cost efficient and is in a documentary form.”

Azfar Hassan, the CEO of Matrix sourcing feels it varies from situation to situation. “Sometimes, email is more effective when data is involved. But in touchy, feely situations, when the end goal is uncertain and you need to discuss issues before coming to a conclusion and to get a sense of the situation, face to face meetings are more effective.”

First published in the print edition of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review, issue 13, 2006

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Fareeha Qayoom
Fareeha Qayoom
Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tkfr.com and former print editions of The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review (tkfr), a trade newsletter for the textile and apparel industry of Pakistan. In short, Publisher, editor, and a blogger. In addition, she has served as Managing Editor of MIT Technology Review Pakistan, print and web editions (2015-16). Total of 7 editions were published under her leadership by ITU, Punjab's first public technology university under the license of MIT Technology Review (USA). She has also managed Value Mag in the same capacity, a real estate and lifestyle magazine for Value TV - 2008-9. Published freelancer for The News on Sunday 1994-96. Fareeha has over 21 years of solid management experience – of managing brands (like Harley Davidson, Munsingwear, Chaps, Chaps Ralph Lauren etc.,), Retailers (like Target, Mervyns, Kohl's, Marks and Spencer etc.,), customers (VPs, Product Managers, Unit Managers, and Buyers), and products (apparel - woven, knits, men's, women's, children's, Print and online publishing units), projects, teams, and processes, information, content, and data, staff, vendors, and time. Versatile and adaptable with international exposure, communication and language skills (oral and written), and a consistent track record of achieving company targets and objectives, plus a MA in Political Science from Punjab University, a MSc in Economics from La Salle University, Louisiana, USA, and a BA in Economics from Kinnaird College for Women.

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