Home > Uncategorized > Why email gets you in trouble

Why email gets you in trouble

So my wife and I are going through a book right now called 10 Great Dates to energize your marriage. Whether or not you think that is cool is entirely irrelevant to me so please save any comments of that nature. Each week we read a few pages then do a little homework to take with us on our date to foster discussion about our marriage. In reading for this week I stumbled across a stat from a very helpful research study Kodak did some years ago on interpersonal communication. They observed communication from one person to another is:

  • 55 % non-verbal
  • 38% tone of voice
  • 7 % words

And this is why email gets you in trouble. When you write an email, you are communicating in the 7%. Bold & Italics does not communicate tone of voice, sorry. Neither does size 72 red font. Nope, people just get annoyed by that stuff.  This is why people get upset when you say something in email you didn’t even think you said. No TONE! NO MANERISMS! Just 7% of what you hoped to communicate. So next time you are writing an email that seeks to communicate something more than just facts follow these steps:

  1. Stop
  2. Click “Save” not “Send”
  3. Open a new email
  4. Subject: Hey man or hey woman (or whatever girls say)
  5. Body: can we get together sometime soon? (if this is not a possibility because you live on seperate continents, try: “can we skype soon?”)
  6. THE END

And if you cant say it to their face, well you shouldn’t be sending it in email anyway. Do not hide behind your computer screen. Ok, I’m done.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Great reminder, Spence.

    But I thought it was funny that you wrote a post about hiding behind a computer screen…while hiding behind a computer screen.

    • spenceshelton
      November 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

      well said Ben. Well said.

  2. Lloyd Mann
    November 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Ouch! Hmmmm. That could explain some things.

  3. November 17, 2010 at 7:51 am

    This could also apply to texting someone over having a real conversation. Pick up the phone and call the person instead.

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