We’ve all been guilty of misinterpreting things.
The risk of misunderstanding grows considerably when the communication takes place in a medium devoid of participants’ facial expression or tone of voice.
Emails, one of the most popular modes of modern-day communication, are often blamed for creating confusion when people get the wrong end of the stick.
Read: Juicing your email
“What causes most problems with email communication is when the person receiving the email interprets all sorts of terrible things that you’ve implied, even when you’ve only written a single line,” says a blogpost on MakeUseOf, a daily blog about digital media.
Having made “just about every mistake that can be made with email”, the author provides a few useful tips to help readers better prepare their communication before they hit the send button.
The first rule, he says, is to keep it short and simple. A long email often means too much information and has the potential for complicating matters, not to mention they are time consuming to read.
A two-word email on the other hand is clumsy and too short, and can be frustrating to the recipient who may be forced to ask for a clarification.
Finally, nothing ticks people off quicker than a mass email, especially if it is directed at someone in specific. This often happens in an office environment when a manager sends out “a mass email to everyone explaining in great and excruciating detail why a particular action is so wrong to do, or why that particular mistake is so bad.”
These are only a few of the many ways guaranteed to offend, anger and annoy with every email you send.