Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is Email a Form of Communication?

Email etiquette is something that is extremely important in the professional world.  We have been trained on proper spelling, not using acronyms, using proper grammar and of course making sure we do not blab on and on over a subject that can be wrapped up in a few short sentences.

Email has become one of the fastest ways to send a message to a colleague, employer, and clients.  Text messaging is now becoming just as popular to send out quick bursts of information.  So back to my question: Is Email a Form of Communication?

Let’s analyze that question with some other examples.  If you are standing in front of a person who is asking you a question and you do not respond to them, are you communicating? The answer is NO.  If you are on the phone with someone who is sharing information with you and you say nothing in reply, is that communication?  The answer is NO.

The only way to truly define basic communication is when 2 or more parties in any given setting are actually exchanging words in some fashion.  So, is email a form of communication?  It can be only if you have the manners to actually reply back.  Otherwise you are no different than the person cited in the examples above.  How would you describe the person not responding in our two examples?  I will let you answer that in the comment section below.

For some odd reason “some” in this professional world have begun to view email as a “If I feel like responding” or “This email from this person is just not that important to me”.  Now before you get all ruffled, I am not talking about spammers or those companies who buy lead lists and shoot out a blast email with their latest product or service they are selling.  I am referring to all individuals who send you a message that has your name in it with some information and questions perhaps and then closes with their signature.  Can someone answer me as to why those emails would not be responded to?

Here is an image we can all relate to, 20 years ago, your parents are standing beside you and someone is talking to you.  You do not say anything in reply and what did your folks do to you next?

We have a lot to do each day, but setting an example in communication is paramount.  Some email responses may need some time and others may simply need a “No thank you” or “I have that covered”.  Whatever the case may be email is communication and when professionals do not respond, I wonder what you would call them?

Written by Jonathan Saar—The Training Factor

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