Emails and Other Forms of Communication Killers

Mails or emails and text messages can be a nightmare or a minefield, whatever metaphor you hmmchoose to use here.

Emails are missing out emphasis, irony, humour, anything that is included in telephone and face to face conversations, they are also often written in abbreviated form and can be sent off in the heat of the moment and even worse……….. they are tantamount to worldwide publishing within seconds, one click of the mouse and your comments can be sent worldwide and if you continuously forward previous emails on, someone, somewhere might read something you didn’t want them to read.

And text messages well can u txt? And cn u read txts? And I don’t even know if I’ve missed out the right bits.

With texts and emails it’s also possible to send them to the wrong person, by clicking the wrong button!!!!! And think about what happens if you always leave the previous message in there, I once became privy to some information that was classified and I only knew because I printed the email out.

Some NLP thoughts on emails – emails can work really well for someone who is visual – in NLP terms that means someone who has a Visual Preference, they say things like “I see what you mean”, “show me …..”, I need to clarify my ideas”, “send me the document” or “please write it down and give it to me”. Emails can also be a killer for them, because suddenly something jumps up on the screen and there it is in front of them in black and white, or colour and they can see it! What you say to them will not always hit home.

Now if someone has an Auditory Preference – so they like to talk, like to chat on the phone, ask you “to talk them through it”, say something ”rings a bell”, think you are or are not “singing from the same hymn sheet”, then an email will possibly have little or no effect on them.

People with a Kinesthetic Preference like to do or touch, so they would possibly rather have a letter they can touch on nice paper, or even like to go for walk with you and if they like taste and smell would rather chat over a coffee or breakfast. Mmm emails not much good for them.

Other things to take into account, you have absolutely no idea what frame of mind your recipient is in when they receive the email or where they are (I recently sat next to a guy at a business dinner who was reading his emails during the after dinner speaker’s speech [a serious speech about transport]). If your recipient is the wrong frame of mind for receiving your email then you have a problem.
My tip if you want to say something important, earth shattering, vital – send a short email and ask can I ring you, can we meet and do that and then give them something in writing. Bad news by email is bad, very bad, unless you really want to annoy someone, or they generally ignore you anyway.

So think about what you write and how you phrase what you write. Are you really clear about what you write?

This week I had an email about someone who wrote “I am busy delivering” and someone who has a “condition”. So I took a deep breath and wrote – “Now I guess you are “delivering” training (unless you have become a midwife or a milkman?) and I’m sorry I have no idea what this “condition” is” – upshot we had a 45 minute telephone call in which all was explained to me and I mean all. I had a better understanding of why something had not happened and the other person remembered you can tell me all kinds of things and I will understand and I got some really useful business tips from the person with the vague and hastily written email.

NLP talks about how we shape our world, (you know we don’t live in reality? That we form our own idea of reality?). In doing this we delete, distort and generalise, more on that later (Words and Wheelbarrows!)

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