I never liked writing long emails, and more than writing, I get put off when I receive them and have to read them. In real life, a long email would be a non-stop one-way talk. Imagine someone consistently saying things to you, and you are just listening until you drift away. So you ignore what’s said and start thinking about more important things like what am I going to have for lunch or why don’t I get an iPhone. Our long emails do that to people. Furthermore, do not format them excessively, do not highlight or underline important stuff let that important stuff be the email. Keep it concise. Use a maximum of five sentences.
Some people have a way with words, and until the wavelength is not similar, understanding these written pieces becomes hard. We are all unique, and we use different words thinking of an effect they create on the reader. Most of the time, our words create an effect that’s opposite to what we expect, resulting in an email battlefield where both of them hide behind some words to express the suppressed anger that they may never show if a real conversation was taking place. Culture, language, country of origin, and common sense or lack of it creates differences. So call the guy right away before you write things that you’d regret and burn bridges for life.
The Fear Factor:
I believe written communication creates fear in people, not the fear of writing them (some have that too) but the fear of leaving a trail of what they wrote and can be held accountable. I am sure you have been part of that meeting; refer an email and blame someone for not doing the required. If I write something, it can be used against me. Another reason for you to avoid emails, but if you do stay to the point and refer the conversation you had before the email. Remember, emails do not create memories conversations do.
The Emailing neighbours:
These lines are disturbingly common in the workplace, “Did you check my email,” “I have not received your email,” “It’s all defined in the email,” “Pls respond to my email” and my personal favorite “Can you please check if they are going in the spam.” I have seen people get off their seats and go to the receiver and ask them if they have received their email. Even looking at their screens to confirm if it slides down the long outlook list. I am sure the sender’s thinking, “Now he has it I have seen it.. there is no way out now”.
If you can say all that to each other, why can’t you talk about what’s in that mail? Keep two-line emails as a secondary reference to your talk.
A good practice is to call the person beforehand or when a few emails are exchanged on a subject. Without a doubt, I can say that people who sound offended or rigid on emails opened up nicely on the phone and were even better when met in person.
What do you think?