The hazards of email


Email can have a bad effect on your work team happiness. ( and sometimes personal relationships outside of work!)

The problem starts because emails often lack the emotional tone  to clearly signal what the sender is thinking. So even a straightforward email can get misinterpreted, create anxiety or trigger an angry response. As a result, email can often damage the positive connections that forms relationships among colleagues rather than help build it up.  In other words, it can hurt your teammanship.

If there’s a conflict and you need to resolve it, you cannot really do it in an email very well because people don’t know the tone…. joking, serious?..They don’t know the expression. Even if they like you and they know you, they might not know whether you were irritated or humorous in an email.

The problems really begin when people start an argument over email. Arguing over email is about having the last word. It plays into something very negative in human behavior. You want to have the last word, and nothing brings that out more than email because you can sit there and hit Send.

Many leaders are aware of the dangers of email, and are clear about the rules they expect people to follow. For example, a disagreement should never extend beyond two emails. After that, you have to pick up the phone, or do something  out of the ordinary — get up from your desk and go talk to your colleague in person.

Most problems on teams can be solved by colleagues being up front with each other, and having respectful, honest conversations face-to-face.

That sounds simple, but having face to face effective work conversations  also takes skill.