Email Tip #2 – Don’t Use Email

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This Weeks Email Tip, Don’t Use Email

Email Tip - Don't Use EmailBeing Valentines Day, I thought a great email tip would be Don’t Use Email. How many of you have read an email and thought, what is this person saying? Not understanding the tone or emotion in email is one of the biggest pitfalls of email communication.

Most times when we read email it is read with tone-deafness. It is hard to understand what emotion the sender is trying to convey. Things like facial expressions, tone of voice are lost in email. This is where things get mis-understood and feelings get hurt, people can get offended, and the message can be taken the wrong way.

Don’t Use Email

Most of us over-estimate the understanding the reader will have when reading our message. So it is important that we understand when not to email. Let’s face it, some things are just to sensitive or complex to be communicated by email.

“Of course there’s nothing new about text-based communication; people have been writing letters for centuries,” he explains. “But what’s different in this medium is…the ease with which we can fire things back and forth. It makes text-based communication seem more informal and more like face-to-face communication than it really is.” ¹

It is important that you know when the time to pick up the phone,  are go and see the person is appropriate. It may seem to take extra time, but it eliminates the chance of confusion and also you can answer questions as they come up in the conversation.

5 Questions To Help Decide

  • Can you clearly communicate your message without emotion?
  • Can you say it in 2-3 sentences or no more than a paragraph?
  • Will questions come up with your message that will need to be answered right away? (Remember we don’t respond to email in real-time)
  • Is the message of an emotional nature or personal?
  • Who are you sending the message to? Have you had the experience of them mis-understanding your emails before?

If you answer yes to any or all of these questions, I would suggest you pick up the phone or go for a visit. If your message is taken the wrong way, the time you will waste trying to explain yourself can be saved up front by skipping the email and talking in person.

Flickr Photo by Fawlty128

¹ Emails and Egos!

Be sure to check back for next week’s Email Tip – Don’t Say Anything!

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