Every day, I coach leaders of all levels and somewhere along the way we discuss when to use email and when to have a face to face discussion. Email cannot pass emotion or intent it can only send words on a page. Those words are then read and interpreted through the filters of the recipient. How often do you imagine there could be wires that get crossed? Statements like this become front and center:
- “I thought this said that”
- “My intent was this”
- “when I read that I was offended by what you said”
So, as you can see there are a lot of things that can enter into our minds. This does not mean you can’t send a “thank you” or other simple message through email. We want to avoid this confusion for sure but that is easier said than done.
I recently made this mistake with an email I sent that was left to interpretation. My intent could not be transferred in the message only words were and they did not hit the mark. This left me with a damaged relationship and then trying to explain my purpose and intent when they thought it was a different one so basically you have a conflict you will need to resolve.
Email is great to transfer data, information and reports. You can quickly share that information with large or small groups. Really though that is where email starts to stall out. Anything we are sending that contains emotions, needs to have intent read into it, or could confuse the recipient should be a conversation not an email. We break this rule all the time and it is usually because of time. Better planning to allow for proper communication is one step, but also resisting the urge to respond when we should exercise patience. In the rush to get more done we start to communicate less appropriately and then we will pay the price with poor communication or like in my case the potential loss of a customer. Please heed my advice and use email for the right messages and keep the real conversations to just that REAL conversations!!
Wishing you success and growth!!