How’s Your EDI Communication – We’re Not Talking AS2 Or FTP

Posted by Charley Hughes on Mar 11, 2014 2:28 PM


Two Quick Thoughts
 

There are good EDI consultants and then there are great EDI consultants.  The simple things that separate the good from the great can sometimes surprise you. 

meeting-around-tableExcellent technical skills are foundational for success.  But for today’s EDI client it isn’t just the destination (the outcome), sometimes it’s the “journey”, (the experience of getting to the destination) on which we are also judged.   And consultants who leverage their interpersonal skills in one particular area have an extra edge in making the experience more enjoyable.

Think about the people with whom you have enjoyed good experiences with on a professional basis.  Likely they were competent and friendly without having to always be the smartest person in the room, or an extravert on steroids.  It was probably the level and method of their engagement with you that made the experience with them pleasant and memorable.

One way to impact the people you deal with memorably is to pay attention to the timing and method of your communication with them.  This can help tip the scale on which your contributions are weighed.  

Here are Two Quick Thoughts to consider.

Timing

Stakeholders like to know what’s going on and be kept in the loop in a meaningful way.   They prefer to hear about challenges and issues early, but also in a manner that includes options for possible solutions.  Being solution oriented sets you apart as someone who is engaged, and who has their best interests in mind both short and long term.  Providing useable information early, appropriately, and often, can be crucial elements in creating the kind of experiences that great EDI consultants deliver for their clients.

Method

Timing is important, but so is the method by which you communicate.  Engaging regularly with different stakeholders gives you the opportunity to learn how each individual prefers to communicate, and at what level of detail.   

Don’t make the mistake of assuming that John reads all your email, or that Jane captured great notes from your phone call two weeks ago.  Mix it up.  Sure, some folks may lean toward one method more than another, but using different means to communicate helps you engage your EDI stakeholders at multiple levels.  While email is quick and efficient, there are times when the personal touch of a phone call, or a face to face meeting for real-time dialogue are preferable choices that deliver a better experience. 

For really important topics following up the phone call or meeting with an email recap can do more than just summarize the main points.  It can score you the kind of points that get you invited back when the next round of work needs to be done.   All because thoughtful attention to the timing and method of your communication demonstrated the difference between being engaged with the client on their journey, versus being merely engaged on just another assignment toward some preselected destination.

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