Protocol: A set of rules and regulations is called a protocol.
Communication: Exchange of information from one system to another system with a medium is called a communication.
Communication Protocol: A set of rules and regulations that allow two electronic devices to connect to exchange the data with one and another.

 We are going to talk about people here and how to use email, text messages, and phone calls to communicate. Your protocol may differ from what you see here, and if you share yours with me, we might still be able to effectively communicate. Think about your favorite way to convey a message to someone and likely that is also your favorite way to receive messages. Say so.


 Seriously now, there are probably many ways to interpret and explain communication protocols. This is NOT about how the electronics works. This is all about how to use your gadgets to talk to me (or anyone, if you adopt these rules.)

Three things are here. Let’s keep it simple.

Email, text messages, and phone calls; that will be the order. It’s as easy as this: Low priority needs can be met via email messages, higher priority needs may be addressed by text messages, highest priority issues are reasons to make phone calls.

The impetus for this post makes for a nice illustration. Last Friday someone sent an email message that I did not see until Monday morning. This can happen and you know it sometimes does. The priority of that communication may have been higher than the the sender realized and the recipient (me) could not have known its importance until someone raised an issue about it. Disappointment was the result of what was explained by the term “miscommunication” which is exactly what it was. I missed that communication. Details are not important to this story, but the lesson is.

Had the sender sent a text message, even if only to say, “check your email,” I would have not have missed the email message. If the sender did not get a response from me by text soon after sending her text message, then the next level of urgency should be assessed by the sender. In other words, does this warrant a phone call. For me, if I’ve seen a text message and did not respond and then my phone rings, if it is not impossible to answer the phone, I definitely will. For some, it may be impossible to take that call, respond to the text, or read email. I’ll leave it to you, dear reader to imagine those scenarios.

Here is the rest of the deal for me. Resolution of the above situation would go like this. If I did not answer that call, there should be a voicemail message (which I’ve left out of the list) and my phone transcribes that to text for me. I’ll check that first. Then, I’ll see what was in the text message, and finally I may even check my email. If it is obvious there’s a house-afire based on the voicemail/text communication, I’ll skip the email check. Let’s face it, I need to respond. That’s the end of this resolution. The sender will have and get my attention.

Here is what I resolve to do. I’m going to share this post with my closest friends, business alliances, associates, clients, and maybe even recommend to people who don’t know me as well. I’ll ask for their feedback and if they say they agree, I’m going to ask them to abide by these rules (this protocol.)

Perhpas I’m done. But I’m leaving open the possibility of updates here, as I expect to learn something from feedback I’ll get.

Stay tuned for more news!


If you call, know who you are. By that I mean if you are a close friend or relative, voice mail is optional. Leave one if it satisfies the need. I’ll be calling you back whether you do or don’t leave that message. If you know you are not a close friend, leave a voice mail with some details about why you called with your contact information. DO NOT leave a message to say, “call me back,” EVER!