Have you added texting to your media mix when you communicate with your team? Leaders are embracing texting over other mediums to connect and execute due to the ease and “right now” feel. It’s also ruining your team’s engagement with you.

Like any other medium, there are right and wrong ways to use texting. Are you making any of these personal texting mistakes?

Deep Thoughts Texting
Texting is about now. Is there a fire? Text me. Unfortunately, you are using text for future needs and ideas. Texting is NOT for a thought you have that may need to be discussed a month from now. Leave your shiny objects to email or forget them. Don’t make your team run around prioritizing a whim while you are on a plane and thinking too hard.

Mommy Texting
Have you noticed that Mom’s no longer email? They text everything and it’s looooooong. My wife would rather send a 100 line text to plan logistics with other moms rather than calling each other. You can’t do this. If reading your text will take several scrolls, switch to the phone or email. Mom’s have agreed that this is OK. Your team has not.

Same Expectations Texting
There isn’t a “mark unread” for texting. I can edit a photo to look like Glamour Shots with one finger but I cannot put a dot next to my text and keep it at the top of my screen. Please someone, anyone, develop this feature! For this reason, your message gets lost or forgotten due to the user interface, not the user.

Teenager Texting
My son has several large group texts going on all the time. Reading it is like listening to a bunch of different conversations at a crowded bar. It’s all random and I have no idea who is speaking and sometimes the messages come out of order. Please stop large group texting and expecting coherent conversations.


Texting is for TODAY (and maybe tomorrow).
Texting is great when you need someone to connect with you and it must be done TODAY. Or for a final detail to a specific project or meeting and it’s TODAY. Perhaps if it’s late and you want to send a reminder for the first thing tomorrow that’s fine too.

Keep it short.
No teenager texts. At most 3-4 people and only that many when it’s one way without much expectation of a conversation.

Recognition and Rapport
Texting is great for recognition. There’s nothing better than getting a thumbs up and a line or two from the boss congratulating a job well done or positive feedback from a customer. A quick happy birthday or anniversary greeting can go a long way as well.

Talk about it! It’s funny the amount of communication that flows without talking about the best way to communicate with each other. At your next meeting, talk about all the different modes and mediums you have to communicate and set expectations accordingly. Yes, there are exceptions, but everyone will be on the same page, which is the point of communication in the first place.

Dan Cooper
Post by Dan Cooper
July 24, 2018
Dan Cooper co-founded ej4, a video-based online training company, in 2003, and was its CEO until selling in 2012. During his time with ej4, he grew the company from a startup to a nationally-recognized firm, serving clients including Pepsi-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Honeywell, Monsanto and Syngenta. Channel partners included SAP and Oracle. As of the 2012, ej4 was serving 1,000+ customers, delivering millions of program views, was highly profitable and debt-free. Today, he is the CEO of Acumen, a mastermind community platform built for CEOs and Owners of strong and growing companies. He and his wife, Ali, have three children and attend Cure of Ars church in Leawood, KS. Dan enjoys running, all things soccer — coaching, playing and watching —and burning all types of meat on the backyard barbecue grill.