President Joe Biden has appointed Jeff Zients, former COVID-19 response coordinator, as his new chief of staff. This decision was announced as Biden prepares his campaign for reelection.
As chief of staff, Zients will take part in countless meetings. To be more efficient, Axios shared that “Zients doesn’t think every issue requires its own meeting. Sometimes, a short phone conversation is more efficient. He has been known to schedule two-minute calls.”
Of Zients’ appointment, Axios wrote, “The changing of the guard is happening at a pivotal moment in Biden’s presidency. He’s facing GOP-led congressional investigations on everything from his handling of classified documents to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and actions by his son, Hunter.”
With Biden’s trust, Zients will fulfill the position in the upcoming weeks. In an article published on PBS, Peter Loge, an associate professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, commented on Zients’ new role, “It’s not exciting, it’s operational. It’s chaotic enough as it is. (The) job is to decrease the chaos, increase the predictability, make it less dramatic. And let the president and the cabinet and the senior staff focus on getting done what they need to get done.”
Zients’ communication style
Following the pandemic, many people have become strained with the pressure of face-to-face Zoom calls and disconnected texting to share information. Many studies coincide with Zients’ belief that short calls are the new way to conduct business.
Insider newspaper shared psychologist Therese Huston’s expertise on the topic, “Recent research reveals we’re less confused about another person’s emotional reactions if we just hear their voice,” she points out. M.G. Siegler, a general partner at Google Ventures, devoted a whole newsletter to explaining why he prefers the untethered freedom of a phone call to the need to ‘perform’ on Zoom.”
Studies show that conversations involving critical feedback or requesting a promotion can be more productive over the phone. People often underestimate the advantages of phone calls because they have been around for some time. Using the phone allows people to maintain confidence that a video zoom called may hinder and allows conversations to stay quick and to the point, those studies say.