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E-Mail and Text: A Greater Source of Conflict Than We Realise
By Mervyn Malamed

Written by Mervyn Malamed | PUBLISHED IN “THE JEWELLERY NEWS”

E-Mail and Text: A Greater Source of Conflict Than We Realise

Conflict can develop even when both sides share a common goal and are not in opposition to each other. The intrinsic subject may indeed not be the cause of a rift. By virtue of its convenience and accessibility, this tool has nudged other forms of communication to the side-line. It’s quick, it’s easy and the repercussions can be disastrous: electronic mail. “Embolism-mail” obstructs the natural flow of discourse between people, stifling communication.

In a neutral situation an e-mail or text is sent and received without incident. Yet, with underlying tension between the parties, it will be exacerbated. Shielded by our screens we operate under a false sense of security. We cannot see or hear our opponent’s wrath, so we are invincible.

 

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That is until receiving a reply. So the destructive exchange is played out from one mail to the next. Whereas with face-to-face interaction, it’s easy to see the problem you are causing.

The word “okay,” expressed over e-mail may be perceived as hostile and curt. In person, the word “okay” could be the icebreaker that is needed for conciliation. A smile, a nod of the head or a change in tone will unblock the communicator arteries quicker than a dozen e-mails.

Optimal goals are attained by face-to-face communicator as first prize, Skype/video conferencing as second, telephone as third, and e-mail or text, last.

Communication stripped of eye contact, body language tone and gestures is prone to miscommunication.

When using e-mail respect one cardinal rule: Do not send a hostile e-mail until the following day – chances are you may not send the e-mail at all then. You may just pick-up your phone and say, “I know we are both on tight schedule but we really should meet and sort this out.”

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My daughter emails me. When your daughter starts to email you instead of talk to you… It’s horrible. You cannot forget human communication. Martha Stewart