Caution When Using E-Mail in the Workplace

A while back I wrote several posts about e-mail’s impact on workplace relationships and the growing body of research on this topic.

As a follow up, here’s a recent article on the subject: “E-Mail is Easy to Write (and to Misread)” by Daniel Goleman. Citing a number of research studies already out there + some not yet published, Goleman offers a fascinating look at how e-mail can easily be misunderstood because our human brains aren’t able to interpret electronic communications as effectively as we can face-to-face communications.

Although there’s no guarantee for perfect communication in face-to-face or verbal situations, studies in the emerging field of social neuroscience confirm a likelihood for miscommunication via e-mail. (Maybe that explains why, despite the medium’s efficiency, it takes me a long time to write some e-mails … another reason I sometimes prefer to pick up the phone instead of sending an e-mail.)

Goleman’s article also includes tips for minimizing miscommunication. So check it out.

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