Video: Stop Emailing For More Effective Communication
Stop Emailing For More Effective Communication
Here are three critical elements to effective communication that show why you may want to cut down a little bit on the use of email, especially for communicating with colleagues, employees and bosses:
Effective communication element #1: Tone of voice
Effective communication element #2: Two-way interactivity
Effective communication element #3: Body language
These three elements of effective communication are three things that you get with face-to-face communication that you don’t get with email. When you measure the communicative bandwidth, basically how much information can you stuff into a message, those are three important things to look at.
Body language, that’s another way of conveying information, tone of voice is another way of conveying information, two-way interactivity allows you to adjust your message, change it, fix things, etc. Face-to-face communication has body language, it has tone of voice and two-way interactivity, so effective communication is more likely to happen.
Video conferencing, it’s a close second. It has body language, it does have tone of voice and it does have two-way interactivity, so again, it’s a far more effective communication method than email. Phone, for example, does have tone of voice, it does have two-way interactivity, it does not have body language, but it’s got two out of the three. Texting, for example, weirdly, even has two-way interactivity. It still has something. Voice-mail, which I know feels like such a 1993 kind of technology, voice-mail, yes, it doesn’t have body language, it doesn’t have two-way interactivity, but it does have tone of voice.
Email is the one communication modality that has none of those. There is no tone of voice, there is no two-way interactivity, and there is no body language. Some people say, well, you can write to have a tone of voice in an email, and yes, you can. It’s just the tone of voice in email is 99.9% of the time a bad tone of voice, a negative tone of voice. It’s almost impossible to control tone of voice. It’s not that email should be done away with completely, but when you’re trying to communicate with people, when you’re building a relationship with them, when you’re trying to really interact with your employees, with your colleagues, with your boss, when you want effective communication, email is not your best friend.
As much as you possibly can, even if you only substitute 10% or 20% of your emails for a phone call, a Skype, some face time, video chat, whatever, do that. It will start to make your relationships significantly better and, let’s face it; it reduces the risk of a lot of communication missteps when you keep it off of email.