It never ceases to amaze me how many people are content to hide behind the screen of their computer. Too often, I hear of organizational e-mail wars going on because within the written communication someone misinterpreted what was being communicated, made an assumption or took something personal. All of this could be avoided if, in a perfect world face to face, or if that isn’t possible you picked up the phone and dealt with something in person.
Furthermore, email can take much more time to communicate effectively than a simple picking up of the phone. Organizations all over North America have employees sitting across the hall from one another communicating over email, when getting up and walking 3 steps would be more effective, efficient and removes the often misinterpreted context of what a person is trying to say.
Email is meant to be a tool and it can be very effective. But, it is not meant to replace your necessary interaction with colleagues, clients and vendors. Next time you go to email someone, especially if it’s a sensitive issue – ask yourself “can I speak to them about this in person”? If the answer is yes – pick up the phone!