Email is great:
- For providing information to a bunch of people when no discussion is required (e.g. meeting agendas, status reports)
- For asking questions that are hard to misinterpret
- For making straightforward requests of people we’ve worked with before
- For transferring files, especially outside the mainstream of a review/production process
Email is not so great:
- For managing multi-party conversations
- For asking questions where someone needs clarification before they can respond
- For making any requests of people we haven’t worked with before
- For resolving interpersonal disputes/tensions
Proposal Land has both the email-is-great and the email-is-not-so-great communications. Before hitting “send” consider which category your communication falls into.
Ah, yes, there are times when email doesn’t work. I have a correspondent who “just doesn’t get it” — and I’m not referring to physical reception of the message. I’ve given up attempting to clarify, or to seek clarification. I know we can get along in person; via email, we just get farther apart.
Of course, that wasn’t your point. I do get that.
Jim – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve received urgent (well, time-sensitive) messages by email after the sensitive time, where a phone call would have worked. Mostly, we just don’t think.
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