More Thanh Words

"My name is Thanh and I'm a Blogger". Now that I have admitted to that, I can say that I'm a stereotypical "geeky" Engineer who enjoys sci-fi books and movies and into all things technological. I also love music and have a passion for FOOD. I'm a social person and like to talk to people. I hate people who are fake or overly aggressive. If you're also into some serious discussion, with a pinch of sarcasm and a dash of real emotion, then please read on.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Email Etiquette Follow Up

Previously, I had written a post about some email rules and etiquette that I think people should follow. A company has recently done a study of people's email etiquette. As expected, we all misuse email terrribly. We reply too quickly without thinking or things get misunderstood.

I had quite a few misunderstandings via email. We interpret emails using our own sense of humour and hence we can read things very differently to how it was intended. Email lacks all the other vital signs that we sub consciously deliver when we talk. The tone of voice, facial expressions, hand gestures and body language are all missing. Emoticons are a very crude way to try and express these things.

In the past, I have written things and am laughing my head off as I write it as it sounds so sarcastic to me. Then I get back an angry reply. I was totally confused that the recipient didn't get my sarcasm. But when I re-read my own emails trying to read it as if I was them, I could see where there can be a mixup.

Nowadays, I try not to write too provocative sentences in my email. If I intend it to be a joke, I will clearly write it as that in brackets. I don't want more confusion, which usually leads to anger. If I have more important things to say, I will ring or go talk to that person face to face. There's no substitute for face to face interaction. A string of emails can often lose sight of the initial goal, whereas ideas are much clearer face to face.

There are definitely advantages to email, such as being able to send to a lot of people. Also, information is more easily digested when you can read it slowly at your own pace. However, there are many pitfalls too that must be avoided or a lot of angry arguments will ensure, usually these arguments occur over email even. Then people hate each other and don't bother talking, hence never clearing up the misunderstanding.


Blogger Jonno said...

It's a touchy topic with me Thanh! I'm going to write something about my pet hate: read receipts!

But you're right. Sometimes emails can be misinterpreted and now I read, re-read and re-read again before sending the really important emails...

12/10/2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger thanh7580 said...

Jonno, I hate read receipts too. At work, when there is a read receipt, it sends it immediately once you preview the email even. However, we've found that you can make the email still unread if you preview, hence you can determine when you want the other person to get the read receipts by opening the email.

I try to re-read emails too now. I have sent some emails to the wrong recipients previously, highly embarrassing. Luckily the emails weren't anything bad.

12/11/2007 10:03 AM  

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