Dear Email Recipient,
Please find the enclosed message where I will confidently and aggressively articulate my point of view in a way that I would never consider doing if you were sitting across the table from me.
Thanks to technology and the global acceptance of email over face to face interaction, or even phone calls for that matter, I am now able to communicate more, effectively (ehem passive aggressively?) than ever before.
I can get to my point and do it in a way that lacks thought, consideration and moreover empathy for those in which I communicate with.
Of course I would never speak with such a sharp tongue in real life. I retain my hostility for emails where I can’t directly witness my distraught and/or offended recipients.
Misguided Passive Aggressive Emailer
What you just witnessed is what I like to call “Email Cojones.” (Ca-Ho-knees)
Seen this before? If you have, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you are either extremely lucky or you are living life offline.
Some of your friends may have a similar condition that is linked to beer, wine or spirits. You know, the ones who lose their filter? But in this case it is done over an email and it is linked to a complete lack of communication skills.
It’s a proven fact, most people are more comfortable and confident to communicate in writing versus in-person.
But here’s the thing.
Just because you are protected by the indirect nature of email communication does not mean you can say anything you want.
A Reminder not to Mince Words
Has anyone ever said to “With all due respect,” and then followed it up with something that clearly isn’t respectful at all?
The whole basis of the phrase “With all due respect,” has been built on softening the blow of saying something that isn’t kind. Perhaps the only phrase that is more offensive is “No Offense.”
No Offense, but if you say no offense to me I’m going to kick your #$% … How you like them apples?
(#$% = Motivation into high gear, in case you were wondering)
Email From Across The Table
Worse than the awkward nature of the pre-insult deflection is when these phrases move from conversation to email communication.
At least the context that surrounds verbal communication provides an opportunity for the listener to take queues from the speaker to determine just how harsh, comedic or passive-aggressive they are being?
Email adds complexity because you can’t decipher any of the visual queues that come with real world communication.
That is why I always recommend to email like you are sitting across the table from someone.
Ask yourself this question… Would I be comfortable watching the receiver read this message?
If you feel like the person reading this message in your presence would be uncomfortable than you are probably committing an email fail.
In that case, stop, and write it again in a way you wouldn’t be uncomfortable.
Communication is Communication
Do you want to know when we will become better communicators?
How about when we realize that communication is just that…communication.
I think Gary Veynerchuk (@garyvee) said it well when he said, “It’s never the medium, it’s always the message.”
If that is true, then we should never communicate differently just because we are using a different medium.
Now that isn’t to say that brevity and directness has no place in this world…
But think about this
Is your email communication in line with the way you would communicate in real life?
Because no offense, but if it isn’t then you are committing an email fail.
And with all due respect, great communicators are above such indiscretions.