Four Reasons Not To Use E-mail
By Bruce Johnstone, Director Of The Business Growth & Development Programme At Cranfield School Of Management.
We use a lot of e-mail. According to some accounts the average corporate worker sends and receives 200 e-mail messages a day, and spends 40 percent of their time on e-mail. Much of that time is spent e-mailing people who are in the same building.
An estimated 294 billion e-mails are sent every day (although 90 percent will be spam). That works out at 2.8 million every second. It is easy to see why this has come about. E-mail has the advantage of being a free and...
...convenient medium that, crucially, does not require the participants to available to each other at a particular time, in the way that a meeting or telephone call does.
It is easy to forget that e-mail is not the only means of business communication, and not always the best for every situation. Here are some situations where you might be better not to use it:
1. You need to explain something complex
Being entirely text-based, e-mail messages lack the non-verbal clues that are conveyed by tone of voice in telephone calls, or via body language in face-to-face meetings. A series of e-mail communications may provide fragmented information that lacks the context, detail and nuance needed to understand an issue.
2. You want to build a relationship
E-mail is not the best way to establish and build personal connections with clients. Face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations are a much more powerful means of strengthening a relationship. E-mail cannot replace the good impression you create with a firm handshake, eye contact, a friendly smile and a pleasant chat over a cup of coffee.
3. The situation is delicate.
Remember that, once you have pressed send, an e-mail can never really be deleted. You can push the delete... continued on page two >