The human touch, alternatives to email
More notes from ‘Send: The Essential Guide to Email for Office and Home’ by David Shipley and Will Schwalbe published April 2007. I was surprised and happy the authors touched on when to use other communication methods. This is one of the most important messages of the book in my opinion.
Rule: conveying an emotion, handling a delicate situation, testing the waters—all are usually better undertaken with the human voice.
A handwritten note is personal. Unfortunately it’s a rarity these days. See ‘When did you last receive a hand-written note?’
A phone call is intimate because you interact in real time. You can hear the vocal inflections, the hesitations and react to them.
A conversation in person brings all your senses into play. You can observe the gestures, the facial expressions, hear the emotion...and react accordingly.
Communicating with a handwritten note, a phone call or in person has weight that email will never have.
Email is a silent method of communication
Technology should complement personal communication, not do away with it. For example, email can be a good method to confirm a joint decision. Email doesn’t work for decision-making that involves a lot of equal voices.
As someone noted in a comment this week, some work groups find Instant Messaging effective for collaborative efforts. I tried IM for a short time with an eXtension colleague but didn't give it much of a chance so I'd be interested in how you use it for work and your comments, pro and con for IM.