Writing vs. E-Mail

Writing my blog helps me to reach clarity of thought. I spend time crafting each post. Editing it. Letting it sit for a few hours before hitting the “Publish” button. I hope my efforts pay off for my readers. I hope that what I write makes sense. I hope that I am being clear.

I just used a lot of “I’s” in that paragraph – on purpose. Continue reading to find out why.

A new study (“Why E-Mails are Often Misunderstood”) points out a stark difference in how our message is understood when we communicate via e-mail vs. the telephone. Click here to go to the study.

Only 56% of the recipients correctly interpreted the e-mail message vs. 73% who correctly interpreted the telephone message.

My immediate reaction when I read the headline was that “the tone of voice” made the difference. Frequently an e-mail is misinterpreted because the recipient can not hear the “tone of voice” that the sender is using.

This study points to another reason for the miscommunication in e-mails: The egocentric viewpoint of the sender.

I, I, I, I, etc.

Senders of e-mail messages are caught up in their own thoughts. So much so that they fail to consider the perspective of their recipient. Why send the e-mail if your reader will not correctly interpret your message?

Good question.

Yes, I commit to writing posts for my blog because, in doing so, my thoughts become clearer – to me. The reason they become clearer to me is that I edit my post before I hit the “Publish” button.

However, I am also writing to share my thoughts with my readers. I hope that I am clear in my communication. I hope that what I write makes sense.

I do know that I do not put as much care into my e-mail communication. Yes, I spell check (automatically) but I seldom re-read my e-mail before hitting the “Send” button. I am in too much of a hurry. For what? To read and respond to the next e-mail?

Why am I responding to the e-mail in the first place? To clarify, to amplify, to confirm. To disagree, fine. To digress… No!

E-Mail is my primary communication vehicle. So why don’t I put as much care into my e-mail messages as I do for the posts on my blog? Good question. Very good question. I will try to change my habits. I want to improve my communications skills. I want to be understood. (All of those “I’s” again!)

What are your thoughts on this topic? Please add your comments below. 

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