September 15, 2008

email communications

That new OnBoard Python based keyboard Ubuntu ...Image via Wikipedia How many times do you send emails to your friends, colleagues, your boss asking them questions and you get an email back with some of the questions answered or ones you didn't ask. It's a problem, I do it, we all do it - consciously or unconsciously - we, as the email recipient, we decide on what is important to answer vs not in an email. Can you imagine doing this in a conversation over the phone or in person? We've all been raised to answer when somone asks us a question. In an email it's different, because we're in control of the keyboard, and no-body is there to remind us that it's important we answer all the questions.

I don't mean to make a thesis out of this but - here is my rule from now on - if I don't believe a question is worth answering, I will make it explicit I'm not answering it because:
  • I have answered it elsewhere in the text say why, 
  • if I'm not answering it for some other reasons, then it's the perfect excuse to pick up the phone.
 All our communication means are meant to work together. I have to remind myself that it's not one versus the other, but IM is good for one thing, then maybe it's a phone call to complete that IM. Email is good up until a point, then phone is best, or in person.


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