Friday, June 09, 2006

Can You Understand Me Now?

CSMONITOR.COM -- In some ways, this really isn't new news, e-mail is a poor form of communication. It's much more ego-centric than any other form, with the sender believing they are more effective communicators than they are and receivers believing they are more effective at understanding the point than they are.

The article is interesting, but the graph at the bottom is the most telling... while the percentage of time that communicator believes they are effectively communicating is the same for phone (78%) or e-mail (78%) and the the percentage of time that the receiver believes they are correctly interpreting is also pretty close (91%p; 89%e), the percentage of time they actually correctly interprets the message? Vasly different... 73% for phone but only 56% for e-mail.

In people's minds they equate e-mail to being very similar to a face-to-face conversation... more informal, more rapid, more give and take. But it often fails in that regard.

It seems like the solution might be include face-to-face conversations or phone calls into the mix to make sure that you're staying in touch with the other person's personality, so that you can better inject it into the "conversations" you participate over e-mail.
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