26 July 2011 Categories: Gerry's Corner

         Emails are a modern curse on Managers says a Business colleague. In a recent discussion with this Business friend, he admits to spending and losing more valuable time reading and replying to emails. At one time emails seemed to be God sent because of the speed in communicating. Now this curse has employees not seeing each other, not communicating orally ( phone or person ), not practicing interactive social skills in fact almost losing the ability to communicate. Not communicating with other employees including Managers, robs the person of feedback hence not improving on the skills needed for effective communications. Written communications such as emails and texting is on a downward spiral in terms of spelling and comprehension. Point at hand is my friend, who says he receives conservatively 50 or more emails a day. 75 % of these emails are marked urgent even from unknown people. They are a mix of emails from bosses, colleagues, co-workers, subordinates, customers, suppliers, etc. Most of them are too short to understand the message or question? Others are badly written or landen with spelling mistakes that the message is incomprehensive. In any given day, he has to send emails back for clarification or for additional information. Sometimes these emails are sent back and forth as much as ten times to get the right picture and then the urgency is not urgent after all. He feels that he time spent on emails would be better spent on getting his job done. He has now resolved his email issues. He now replies to emails from internal colleagues with this “ I would love to talk to you, please stop by my office when you can”.  In other cases he suggests people call him instead of sending emails.  He finds this process more efficient, less time consuming, less chances for errors or misunderstandings, better decision making and his eyes hurt less from looking at a monitor regardless of size. This is one person’s point of view on today’s emails.

         I agree in part with some of these observations. In my practice I try to communicate in person if not, by phone or as a last resort by email. Whatever works best for you.