Hello SOTGC community,
How many emails do you send a day and how often do you click send without giving your note a second look?
According to a recent Radicati Group study, over 182 billion emails were sent out worldwide every day in 2013. On average, we sent or received a little over 100 emails a day and that number is predicted to increase to over 130 per day by 2017. That’s a lot of email!
Email has become so engrained in our day to day lives that we often don’t stop to make sure we are communicating the right message. We hear our voice in our head, the tone and intent correct as we write the email, but once we click that send button something happens; our voice doesn’t get sent with the email, and that’s where miscommunication sneaks in.
How many times have you meant for an email to be funny, only to get a snide email response, or an angry co-worker stomping up to your desk in protest? We may have the best of intentions, but when it comes to conveying our true intent, email can be a lousy medium.
Fortunately, knowing is half the battle. Once we understand that our email is likely to be misinterpreted, we can then begin to take the steps needed to ensure the message is read and interpreted correctly.
The next time you are about to push send, pause for a moment and read your email out loud in several different tones. Try reading it with a happy, angry, funny and sarcastic tone. And by the way, if you think that your email is too long to take the time to read in different tones, then you may have a whole different issue on your hands, and there is a great LifeHacker blog about writing shorter emails. Ok, back to the exercise. Once you’ve read your email out loud in various tones, you will begin to see how some words can mean different things. If you read a sentence and it sounds like a viable statement in several tones, then you might want to rethink the statement. When in doubt, stop writing and if possible, go talk to the intended recipient in person, or give them a call.
Think of it this way, the more senses you have at your disposal, the more tools you have to communicate your message. So see it, hear it, feel it… Just make sure you are sending the right message before you hit that send key!