Asynchronous communication is the entrepreneur’s secret weapon to get more done, and it is now possible and highly encouraged by many companies. Asynchronous communication includes email, text, messages, voice notes, and any other type of communication that does not happen in real time. It’s like going back in time in some ways, but it’s necessary.
Simultaneous communication requires two people to be present at the same time. Meetings, phone calls, and zoom sessions should be on a schedule for simultaneous communication. Both sides must be physically and intellectually present. Questions must be answered immediately during this type of communication, or there will be a follow-up as people take action and loose ends are tied up. However, prompt back and forth during a face-to-face meeting or conference is not always necessary or desirable.
Asynchronous communication is now possible with or without avatars.
Companies are embracing asynchronous communication and people to help them take control of their days, focus better, get more done, and avoid missing something at the expense of real work.
When you don’t need to communicate in real time, you’ll feel less rushed, have fewer distractions, and have more uninterrupted time for productivity and creativity. It’s as if life was simpler before the alerts, and we weren’t required to respond so quickly. Some of history’s most successful entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators have secluded themselves for extended periods, seeking solitude and silent reflection.
Asynchronous communication has many advantages.
Choosing asynchronous versus asynchronous means no calendar alignment or unwanted attention-grabbing invitations to “get a call,” which is especially important for companies with a worldwide workforce. Professionals may work at their own pace and according to their schedules, allowing them to better manage time zone differences.
Making information transmission the norm means you can work whenever and wherever you choose. Knowing that no communication will necessitate an immediate response and that colleagues will not expect anyone to make time to focus on other things. Low-level distractions distract from hard work. However, connecting completely asynchronously until necessary allows you to respond in batches at the professional’s discretion.
Without waiting for someone to become available, projects can move forward, conversations can take place, and difficulties can be resolved without Zoom calls. You don’t need to make time, find a quiet place, or be prepared to talk about mundane interests.
If you don’t schedule meetings or book time into your calendar, you won’t be able to flip your schedule if someone cancels. None need to be canceled if a problem arises, such as illness or daycare, and the answer comes later. Last-minute cancellations irritate professionals who may have arranged their entire day around the scheduled date.
Watching a webinar with headphones on, a female focus takes notes.
The idea in modern organizations is that you have to provide this diary space. Friendly Links makes it simple to arrange a date directly on someone’s calendar. Cell phones make it simple to ask a question you might have answered with a quick Google search. You might be better off spending your time and attention creating, producing, and growing a business.
Meetings, Slack, and the “always on” mentality have become so popular that they no longer ask questions. It is impolite for a team member to decline a meeting and request an email summary. Software goods buyers expect a personal offer and feel “cheated” if they have to watch a YouTube video instead. We want a lot of other people’s time while wasting our own. This need not be the case.
Asynch work can be a powerful and efficient way to get things done while keeping team communication on track. While there is a role for simultaneous communication, and it has advantages, it is likely to cost more in the long run.
How can asynchrony become the norm?
You can make asynchronous communication your new norm by making them more accessible and refusing meetings and appointments until prompted. If your phone calls go unanswered (as they say in Russian), then let your co-workers know that they don’t need an immediate response. Before letting someone reserve a space, watch your calendar closely and ask additional questions. Inquire about the purpose of the meeting, the start and end time, the plan, and any follow-up needed. You can discover that it is possible to achieve this through email. If the prospect of a blank calendar fills you with dread, dedicate each day to “working hard.”
The shift from continuous to asynchronous communication does not just require a cultural shift. In fact, it takes high confidence in employees to use their days wisely and avoid procrastination. With rigor, self-awareness, autonomy, mastery, purpose, and no expectation of giving up on random phone calls, team members and businesses will thrive.
How to support asynchronous communication
To maximize the benefits of asynchronous communication in the workplace, it is important to implement certain strategies. First, choose appropriate tools that facilitate effective asynchronous communication, such as email, project management software, and collaboration tools. Ensure that these tools are easy to use and accessible to all team members.
Setting clear expectations is crucial. Set guidelines for response times and availability, communicate to the team how quickly they can expect to respond and what matters need to be addressed in real time. Clear expectations help manage the flow of communication and avoid misunderstandings.
Encourage transparent and detailed communication between team members. Since there are no immediate opportunities for follow-up questions or clarifications, providing comprehensive information in messages is important to reduce back-and-forth exchanges. Structured formats, such as bullet points or numbered lists, can help organize and convey information effectively.
Embrace documentation and knowledge sharing. Asynchronous communication allows the creation of a valuable knowledge base. Encourage team members to document important discussions, decisions, and information in a central repository. This allows easy access to information and helps new team members get onboard quickly.
Finally, foster collaboration and feedback even though there is no real-time interaction. Encourage team members to provide constructive feedback on documents or projects and create dedicated spaces for discussions and brainstorming.
In addition, respecting time zones and work-life balance is important, especially if the team is spread across different regions. Avoid scheduling urgent tasks or expecting immediate responses outside of normal business hours, and foster a culture that values personal boundaries and supports work-life balance.
Regularly evaluate and solicit feedback to improve your asynchronous calling practices and adapt to the team’s evolving needs.
Image credit: Pexels, Cottonbro Studio; Thank you!
Subsequent asynchronous call: fast action; The Secret Weapon made its first appearance in Almanac.