Avoiding email flames

March 13, 2006 11:04 AM

This morning I received quite a terse email from a colleague. I reread what I sent him and thought I was impartial and polite so I was instinctively peeved. My reflex would have been to fire an email back but instead I took my fingers off the keyboard and took a deep breath. Then I called the colleague and explained again what I had said. Got it cleared up in less than a minute.

Similar to what I talked about in “Blogging Responsibly“, a lack of visual and tonal cues impairs all forms of electronic communication. Misunderstandings can easily occur from different interpretations of the same words.

Now if all of us knew that, then we would not have incidents like this one. 😉

4 thoughts on “Avoiding email flames

  1. emiriyoshikawa

    Well done for not shooting him back! Glad the phone call clear it up, if not it’ll mess up your work environment.

    I’ve seen alot of Blog wars started because of such misunderstanding when someone were too literal and took some lighthearted comments too seriously.

  2. mooiness Post author

    Yeah something that the writer intented to be sarcastic could easily be interpreted as an insult by the reader. Then flaming ensues. 😉

  3. Leonard

    first of all…congrats on upgrading urself from bloggers!

    true, sometimes typing will cause misunderstanding….i was also fuming when i read some emails from fellow colleagues asking me to do some tasks! i’ll curse and swear at him infront of my monitor before doing the task.

  4. mooiness Post author

    leonard: sometimes ppl do not know how rude their words come across. They should read their emails back to themselves first and see how they’d feel.

    But then again, some ppl are probably just insensitive jerks.


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