Have you ever sent an email thinking it was clearly written, then suddenly find yourself in an all-out email war, reiterating or clarifying the information with multiple emails and CC’d individuals (knowing full well there are likely other people in the BCC line that you don’t even know about!) all to leave you wondering what the hell went wrong? After all, you were so clear.
Of course you have. I probably just described a daily occurrence for some.
Why do we let this happen?
Maybe we think we’re being efficient. Maybe sending an email allows us to check off a box on our to-do list. Maybe some of us hate talking to people in person or on the phone.
Maybe … we’re really afraid. Or lazy. Or introverted. Or selfish.
Maybe we just aren’t considering the cost.
Let’s stop using email.
Of course, I don’t really think we should stop using email altogether. That sounds like something my dad might suggest.
I do, however, think we all could use a gut check when it comes to how much we rely on email do the heavy lifting of communication for us.
And I’m not just talking about email here. I’m talking about all forms of electronic communication to include texting and Facebook messaging and whatever newfangled apps the kids are using these days.
But hey. I’m old. Maybe I’m out of touch with this. Maybe I’m wrong.
It might be helpful to answer the simple question: Does email qualify as communication?
Are you screaming, “Duh, Rebecca! Of course it does!” Well, I’m going to suggest that it doesn’t. Not all by itself.
At its core, the definition of communication requires an exchange of ideas, thoughts or feelings. See that? An exchange.
It implies two parties, giving and taking. It’s two directional.
Email is a one-directional piece of communication. Even if you cover your bases and include a “read receipt” flag, you have no flipping idea if the person actually fully read or comprehended the information you sent in your precious email.
How many back and forth emails are required to accomplish what could have been done in a 5 minute phone call?
Two one-way conversations do not add up to one full-blown two-way conversation.
Email is a tool. It’s an amazing tool and given the speed of life today, there’s literally no way to ignore its benefits.
But email can never replace the act of picking up the phone or when possible, meeting face to face.
No matter how many emojis you use, a static email can never convey a warm tone of voice or the crinkling eyes of a genuine smile.
As you think about the messages you need to share today, I encourage you to stop and think.
If your emotions are vital to the message that needs to be communicated, email won’t cut it.
Words alone cannot convey our feelings. People need connection. They need our tone of voice and even better, our body language to supplement our words.
Now I’ll give you this: email is usually easier. But in the end, is short term ease worth the long term consequences of miscommunication, missed opportunities or worse yet, hurt feelings?
Pick up the phone. Make that personal visit.
The quality of our communication depends on it.
I want to hear from you! Have there been times that you regretted sending an email? Share in the comments or over on the Facebook page! And as always, I invite you to join the FREE Groove Seekers Facebook Community where all the best conversations happen!
Groove on, everyone!