Is that really what your email meant to say?


sanctus
#1

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billions of emails are sent around the globe each day but are their true meanings getting across? Maybe not.

Although emails are quick and easy to send, their lack of facial cues, body language and emotional feedback mean they can be easily misinterpreted.
Kristin Byron, of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University in New York, believes that many email users could be sending and getting mixed messages in emails.
"A first step toward improving accuracy in emails is to recognize the possibility that we are fallible as both email senders and receivers," said Byron who is an assistant professor of management at the university.
"People make the assumption that emails are very clear but that is just not the case. There are a lot of misunderstandings," she added in an interview.
One of the main points of confusion is that people forget that emotions can be communicated in email. While facial expressions can be easy to read, there aren't the same clear signals in emails.
Misinterpreted emails could be a particular minefield in the workplace with co-workers perceiving emotional content in the email that may not be intended.
Emotions can be expressed in emails through punctuation marks and other techniques but that can confuse the message even more, according to Byron who will report her findings in the journal Academy of Management Review.
"The use of exclamation points, asterisks, or capital letters, the length of the message, even the use of emoticons all can be used or perceived to communicate emotion. Yet these are ambiguous in email communication -- and are often discouraged from use in the workplace -- and therefore may be misinterpreted," she said.
Emoticons are symbols such as smiling faces or characters on keyboards used in emails to show emotion.
To improve email communication and lower the risk of sending the wrong signals Byron suggests email users express themselves clearly and repeat important information they want to convey.
Companies might also consider offering training in the use of emails at work.
"With the increasing reliance on emails in the workplace, understanding how to effectively communicate emotions by email is crucial," Byron added.
Copyright 2007 Reuters Limited
 
hermanntrude
#2
this is why one has to choose one's words carefully online, rather than just spout.

the same is true of books of course, and memos and faxs, and even to a lesser extent, telephone calls.
 
sanctus
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrudeView Post

this is why one has to choose one's words carefully online, rather than just spout.

the same is true of books of course, and memos and faxs, and even to a lesser extent, telephone calls.

It is always a good idea to think before speaking, not one of my frequent qualities mind you! But I have a valid excuse, I'm a bigmouth
 
marygaspe
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by sanctusView Post

It is always a good idea to think before speaking, not one of my frequent qualities mind you! But I have a valid excuse, I'm a bigmouth

Me too Father, me too! In fact, my husband says he still hasn't learned to turn me off yet
 
L Gilbert
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by marygaspeView Post

Me too Father, me too! In fact, my husband says he still hasn't learned to turn me off yet

lol. Reminds me of my remedy for rambunctious kids: cookies first then chloroform.
 
sanctus
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

lol. Reminds me of my remedy for rambunctious kids: cookies first then chloroform.

You give them cookies first!?
 
DurkaDurka
#7
I am surprised at my work how many people feel it's fine to construct business e-mails full of lol's, happy faces and undecipherable acronyms.
 
marygaspe
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by L GilbertView Post

lol. Reminds me of my remedy for rambunctious kids: cookies first then chloroform.

Ah, so now I learn this.,.years after they've grown up, married and gotten out of the house!
 
hermanntrude
#9
i have to admit i do occasionally stoop to a :0) face, usually around the "thank you very much for your help" part of the email, just in the hope it will inspire a real smile. I'm very careful how i speak as well as write now. But i think it was online communication that made me so.
 
DurkaDurka
#10
I don't mind the odd smiley in an e-mail, some people really should not have learned those key combinations though.
 
sanctus
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrudeView Post

i have to admit i do occasionally stoop to a :0) face, usually around the "thank you very much for your help" part of the email, just in the hope it will inspire a real smile. I'm very careful how i speak as well as write now. But i think it was online communication that made me so.


My pet peeve is internet spelling. "U" instead of you, for example. I find it annoying.
 
sanctus
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by marygaspeView Post

Ah, so now I learn this.,.years after they've grown up, married and gotten out of the house!

Works on husbands too Mary..hah hah hah
 
Dexter Sinister
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by marygaspeView Post

Me too Father, me too! In fact, my husband says he still hasn't learned to turn me off yet

Why would any sane man want to turn you off?


A wife who's always turned on doesn't seem like such a bad thing...
 
DurkaDurka
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

A wife who's always turned on doesn't seem like such a bad thing...

she is Catholic, they don't do it for fun...
 
L Gilbert
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by marygaspeView Post

Ah, so now I learn this.,.years after they've grown up, married and gotten out of the house!

I left out the part about wrapping them in duct tape and hanging them in closet.
 
L Gilbert
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

she is Catholic, they don't do it for fun...

roflmao
 
Dexter Sinister
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by DurkaDurkaView Post

she is Catholic, they don't do it for fun...

That might surprise some of the Catholic couples I know...

p.s. why are we still whispering?
 
marygaspe
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

Why would any sane man want to turn you off?


A wife who's always turned on doesn't seem like such a bad thing...


A man who has lived with you for 35 years
 
marygaspe
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by Dexter SinisterView Post

That might surprise some of the Catholic couples I know...

p.s. why are we still whispering?


Hun, you'd be suprised what we Catholic girls can do for fun
 
Dexter Sinister
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by marygaspeView Post

Hun, you'd be suprised what we Catholic girls can do for fun

Oohh... I doubt that. My wife was raised Catholic, gave it up for a variety of reasons that need not concern us here (but no, they had nothing to do with me), and we'd been married for several years by then.
 

Similar Threads

0
What has Madonna's music meant to you?
by CBC News | Aug 15th, 2008
0
Fax by Email
by Haggis McBagpipe | Jul 20th, 2005
no new posts