Recently, my friend tried to contact a customer service department. She left several emails and when nobody replied, she had no other option but to call and leave a voice mail. It went something like this.
“This is Sally Smith period I sent several emails comma,” then, realizing she wasn’t dictating a text message, recovered and left the rest of the message without the punctuation notations. She was horrified and felt her message would not be taken as seriously as she wanted. I, on the other hand, almost rolled on the floor with laughter.
Why don’t we make more calls? After all, we are in the relationship building business and talking is very necessary.
Time is a factor. We are used to instant information and a text is a much faster way to deliver a message. There’s no small talk and initially we can avoid conflict or the other person’s opinion. We’ve also learned the typed word gives us more courage to be short or rude. People say things via email, text and social media they would never say face to face or on the phone.
Even if a message isn’t intended to be confrontational, the receiving side can interpret it as such, which is why emojis were invented! According to “WIRED,” they are the first language born of the digital world, designed to add emotional nuance to flat text. There’s even an emojipedia that gives the meaning of each emoji.
Many trainers tell us not to negotiate over text or email for that very reason. Instead, work out the negotiation in person or over the phone and use text or email for verification of the facts discussed.
Keep in mind, punctuation counts. For a good example, read the following statements.
Woman without her man, is nothing. or Woman, without her, man is nothing.
I would imagine those statements bring up very different emotions.
When communicating, think appropriate versus convenient. Do not text or email in a tense situation. Face to face is the best, phone is second.
Rule of thumb:
- 50% of how a message is perceived is through body language
- 38% is tone, inflection – how you say it
- 7% are the words
Texting or emailing is for confirming or informing, not for building a relationship. Give your thumbs a break, make a phone call, or better yet, talk to someone in person.