Are You Communicating What You Don’t Intend To?
E-mail and Text Messaging are without a doubt the most popular media for communication. Thanks to smartphones and data networks we can mail and text, wherever and whenever while this is wonderful, a word of caution! In these media, we could be unintentionally signalling what we don’t intend to! Here are some of these practices we come across every day.
Reply All: We all have colleagues whose favourite button is “Reply All.” How much extra effort does it take to addresses the reply to the relevant few? Are these practitioners signalling that their time is more precious than that of others?
Subject Agnostics: Have you had the experience of sending a mail on one subject and receiving a reply on a totally unrelated subject? Why? How much time or effort was saved by not entering the relevant subject? Doesn’t it seem like plain simple sloppiness?
The Night Owls: We have all heard of a manager, who habitually mails/messages subordinates late in the evening. What is the impression he or she is creating? Is that of a diligent professional or that of a workaholic/insomniac?
Jekyll & Hyde Types: Take the case of a manager, who carefully drafts mails to his superiors while those to his subordinates are cursory and unclear. Can you visualise what happens when the subordinate comes across one of the better-drafted mails to the superiors? What would be his opinion of his manager? Worse still what if the subordinates were to adopt a similar practice with their teams?
Summing up, e-mail and text messaging are great conveniences. Let us take care to understand them and use them well.
– by Ravi Santhanam for ZEUS