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Be Careful of What You Say in E-Mail and How You Interpret Other's E-Mails

You know how easily e-mails can be misinterpreted, but you may not understand why. Chalk it up to egocentricity, according to this report.

One thing an e-mail can't do well at all: Convey emotions. You may have a good relationship with a co-worker, for example, but without the physical, verbal and emotional cues that come from a face-to-face conversation -- tone of voice or facial expressions -- the real intent of the message may get mangled and misinterpreted traveling down the Internet superhighway.

Two great ways to avoid conflicts that unintentionally occur while passing e-mails back and forth:

  1. Pick up the phone and call the person if you believe the intent of your e-mail message may get lost in translation.
  2. Give that e-mail a quick read first to ensure it conveys your intentions properly.

Christian Science Monitor May 15, 2006

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