Email is Easy to Write (and Mis-Read)


Here’s an interesting article that all Caribbean professionals should read, because there is a lot to learn from professionals in other countries who have spent more time using and abusing email.

Here is an excerpt:

[…]e-mail generally increases the likelihood of conflict and miscommunication.

One reason for this is that we tend to misinterpret positive e-mail 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.

We fail to realize this largely because of egocentricity, according to a 2005 article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Sitting alone in a cubicle or basement writing e-mail, the sender internally “hears” emotional overtones, though none of these cues will be sensed by the recipient.

Read carefully!