Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Get off e-mail and pick up the phone!

Will probably remain behind on blogging under both sets of MBA grades are filed. For decent blogging productivity, I also need a few hours to reinstall/reconfigure my blogging software.

One of the points I try to remind students is how e-mail can cause more problems that it solves. For example, some people (unknowingly) adopt a passive-aggressive stance that says “this is what I’m going to do — let me know if you have a problem with that.” As in “I’m going to miss class tomorrow. Let me know if you have any questions.” And maybe they don't intend it to be passive-aggressive, but without context it’s hard for the reader to tell.

Certainly around our house and at the office (both industry and now university), more than one or two back-and-forth prompts the cry “just pick up the phone.”

The NYT this week has an article about all the reasons that e-mail is prone to misunderstanding. In trying to be the definitive article on the subject, it perhaps takes itself a little too seriously, but it provides a comprehensive view of why excessive reliance on e-mail can be very risky for your career and relationships.

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