Don’t send that email

I recently read this Harvard Business Review article by Anthony K. Tjan, CEO of Cue Ball. In it he makes the case for having live conversations rather than electronically-mediated communication (such as email and social media).

This is especially the case where important decision need to be made or conflict needs to be addressed. He writes,

There is a rising and unproductive trend towards people trying to do digital conflict resolution. The de facto path for issue resolution seems to be increasingly via email. More accurately, email has become a convenient mechanism for issue-avoidance. It is easier, quicker, less stressful, and less confrontational to have critical or challenging issues sent over email versus a live one-on-one with a counterpart.

The immediacy of email, as the fact that it appears less confrontational, all mask the hidden cost of email:

  1. It is hard to get the EQ (emotional intelligence) right in email.
  2. Email and text often promote reactive responses.
  3. Email prolongs debate.

In light of this, my resolution is to pick the phone up more rather than send off an email. What do you think?

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