Can You Hear Your Emails?

I’ve been thinking about several emails I recently sent to clients, and I’ve been wondering if my tone may have been misunderstood. In my haste to send a message, I think I may have neglected to listen to what I was writing. I saw my words on the screen. I didn’t listen to the message.

When I was a teacher, class members would complete this exercise…

Read the following scenario:

You have coordinated a blind date between your roommate and your cousin. The two have met for an informal dinner, and the next day you are anxious to see how successful you have been as a matchmaker.

You email your cousin: “How did it go last night? What do you think?”

Cousin’s response: “Your roommate is nice.”

How many ways can you hear that written statement?

Several weeks ago I had the good fortune of having dinner with several young attorneys. One man said it has become standard practice at his firm to wait a day when sending important email correspondence to a client. Write, wait, reread.  In addition, someone else in the firm must read the email before sending it.  I understand. Hasty correspondence that is misunderstood can be expensive!

One challenge before us is quantity.  More emails, more texts, more calls come pouring in.  What habits have you developed to effectively manage this explosion of information? Let us know.

This entry was posted in Interpersonal Communication, Tone, Written Communication. Bookmark the permalink.

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