Email is an extremely popular form of communication in business and personal communication landscapes,
but it often leads to major problems if the parties involved are in different emotional states of mind, the slightest disagreement via email can quickly spiral out of control leading to a full blown argument.
Using email in business communication is certainly less personal than face-to-face communication. It can hinder social interaction and lead to less relationship building in the workplace. Misunderstandings are commonplace in written communication simply because the recipient cannot read the writer’s tone and expression, and therefore is left to interpretation. Consider that even though email can be quite informal, it is also a permanent record and should be treated carefully.
Every professional organisation needs a communication policy.
What is effective communication?
Who is responsible for effective communication?
Although it cannot and should not replace all face-to-face communication and others forms of communication, internal email usage can cover many areas within the business. Internal emails are effective messages to an entire workforce, it's fast, easy, convenient and can save the company money. If saved it's proof of pertinent information.
Whether sending an internal or external email, the subject line should accurately represent the content of the email. Business emails should be brief, positive and professional.
Gains and Pains
How to solve the email communication problem?
1. Be clear. Be brief. – Write short email messages with a crystal clear point. Do not write long winded confusing paragraphs that leave room for misinterpretation.
2. Proofread. – Proofread your message multiple times. If the email deals with touchy subject matter, have a third-party read it over as well. This can give you added perspective on how well it will be received by the intended recipient. AVOID assumptions, it's time consuming typing and reading about irrelevant matters leading to aggravation.?
3. Wait. – Write the email, proofread it, and then sit on it for a little while. Knock off a couple other tasks before you have second look at it. If your emotions were flaring when you wrote the email, a little time can allow these emotions to settle, allowing you to evaluate the message in a different light.
4. Pick up the phone! – While email can be a convenient communication channel, certain discussions need to be handled over the phone, or if possible, in person. If you notice that the situation is starting to deteriorate, don’t send another email, it’s time to pick up the phone or arrange a face to face meeting. How much time have you spent typing V's just pick up the phone, talk, collaborate, rapport, win/win.Remember
Phrases characterize emotion that would normally be delivered via physical body language, the intended message could be misunderstood by the reader due to a complete misinterpretation of the writer’s emotional tone.
Sarcasm and Emotion portrayed in a text based email can be interpreted differently when being read by different people.
Avoid the pitfall of Meta Messages