Email with care

– She did not like the tone of your email, said my boss, referring to a consultant on the team.

I was shocked to hear that. I went back to my email. I re-read it. Had others read it. Back then, I did not realise it was about the way  the receiver reads it and about the environment/stage she was at that time.

This knowledge came to me couple of years latter at an emotional intelligence training. When the trainer guided me to a research by Daniel Goleman: “we tend to misinterpret positive email messages as more neutral, and neutral ones as more negative, than the sender intended. Even jokes are rated as less funny by recipients than by senders”.

This is important to pay attention to especially in remote-control project management, where you cannot pop-in the teams offices and where most of communication is by email. To prevent and/or overcome eventual misunderstandings, I aspire to practice face-to-face or Skype or video-conference contacts on a regular or just spontaneous basis.

If you are interested, here is a reference to the above mentioned research http://www.danielgoleman.info/email-with-care/

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