You type your message, re-read it for errors, press send and go about your day. Email is now the most common form of communication in today’s business world. Email was actually the first form of social networking and is a fixed part of everyday life and helps to quickly continue to the next step if something is in a hold pattern.
With this great convenience, some pretty serious misunderstandings can occur because long after feelings change, the words are still there. Especially because when that email was sent say in the morning when you’re in one frame of mind, by the time it ‘s responded to both you and the sender are in a different mood. If the two of you were conversing voice to voice or face to face, none of this would have happened.
I have been on both the sending and receiving end of a misunderstood email. I’ve sent an email in response to a meeting request that I thought sounded friendly and congenial, but I never get an answer or a call, so now I call first. When I got an email in response to a third request for information, the response was full of anger and clearly left no room for me to answer, meaning my message wasn’t written carefully enough. I now know that placing a call or using Skype would have created a better impression.
There are important visible clues with face to face or voice communication that helps each person ascertain why someone is responding a certain way and how they may be feeling. So, what if you’re not in the same room, the same city or even the same state? How do you know how the person you’re communicating with is reacting to what you’ve written or vice versa?
Clay Shirky, an American writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of internet technologies recommends that you start communication with a face-to-face or voice to voice and then move on to email. Even saying “hello” first goes a long way in creating a positive social bond. While email has definitely improved communication it is important to recognize the differences of this medium and be sensitive to the challenges that it brings.
Starting with a “face to face” or voice to voice is easy, affordable and can be worth it’s weight in gold:
- Web Cam Conversations are almost as effective as face to face communication. Web Cams are affordable and access to communication software such as Skype is an easy way to communicate with anyone long distance and it’s pretty easy to use. The only issue to be aware of are time differences and/or schedules.
- Telephone Call: If a communication has lost its way, a phone call is simple and easy. It’s best to talk on the phone to assure that the conversation doesn’t go too far from its original point of view. Suggestion, start with a phone call, and include an email to explain changes or details, then the conversation has gotten off to a great start and both parties are aware of the intent of what was said.
Let’s all slow down and take time to schedule a call or cam conversation, you are both worthy of a successful relationship and great start to any project.
©You’re The Best