Sometime back I was reading about an ongoing research on sending fragrance ( perfume , flowers, food etc.) via the net. I don't know whether the research will be successful or not, but if it does, it will be a revolution.
Inhaling a fragrance over the web might be a distant reality, but e-communication is the norm of the day today. I have worked with many virtual teams in globally distributed models, where I have not met the person with whom I talk several times in a week ! And again, 90% of the conversation is via emails.
Emails have invaded our lives. Snail mails have become a thing of the past. Telephone, VOIP, video conferencing have made the world very very small. All said and done, technology cannot replace face to face meetings and conversations as 70% of the communication needs body language.
But yes, emails can be used to replace some of the body language communication. And in this blog post, I will try to elaborate on this aspect.
- Your email reflects your personality . How we use words and how we write emails shows the different aspects of our personality. Extroverts write about fun related words, An autocratic person writes more of "I", "Me", "Mine". An inclusive leader will write "we", "our" .
- Emails conveys the tone . And , similar to a face to face conversation, tone makes a lot of difference, It is not just what you say, but how you say it. You can say "Come here" in various tones which conveys different meanings . Similarly, in emails , you should be very careful since a word here and there can change the tone of the email completely.
- Emails reveal a lot . Example, absence of typos and spelling mistakes tell about your conscientiousness. Grammatical mistakes show poor academic intelligence and emoticons show your friendliness. So, be careful !
- Emails can develop trust . The language you use, the opening line, the closing words and the main body of the email reflects the integrity of the person. The opening is different for different audience. You may write "Team", "Dear friends, "Folks" or just "Hi" Hello". Remember, this is important and should be altered appropriately. Similarly, the closing . "Thanks", "Regards" etc also convey a lot. "Yours sincerely", "Humbly" etc do not match with the new era of business communication.
- Be to the point and crisp in your emails. If it is a long email and you are asking something from your audience, write what you need from them in the first paragraph of the email. You don't know how many will read till the end. Subject lines are also of great importance.
I don't know whether fragrance will travel on the web or not, but emails are here to stay. So, tune your emails and see what difference it makes in your business communication.
And let us wait for the future where , like Star Trek, we can use a machine to physically transport us to anywhere and come back the same way ! And you bet, that is not too far off !
READ another related blog post of emails : 5 Situations where emails fail.