Professor Albert Mehrabian’s research into verbal communication is often quoted in this simplified form:
Words – 7%, Tone – 38% – Body Language – 55%
Email, being only words without tone and body language, leaves the reader with fewer queues for interpretation. For this reason, recommended email best practices are:
- Email is for communication, not conversation
- Use Email for two purposes: transmit information or schedule meetings
- Choose your words carefully, sometimes slang words, e.g. “yeah” can be misinterpreted
- After 1 response – pick up the phone
- Reply only to the sender
- Reply to all – ONLY if sender requests or the information in your reply will benefit everyone on the distribution list
- Only put in an Email something you would want to appear on the internet, on a billboard, in the news – you get the idea
- Don’t send an Email when you are angry – see previous bullet
- Never negotiate via Email
- Never send an important Email w/o an advance phone call and a follow-up phone call to discuss and prevent/correct misunderstandings
- Be brief, most people read Emails on their IPhone, Android, etc.
- When sending an important Email, ask someone else to read it before sending it, with three questions:
- What would you think?
- How would you feel?
- What would you do?
Anything you would add?