Resources and Comments in Response to “Is E-mail the New Parking Lot?”
Susan Nienaber’s article, “Is E-mail the New Parking Lot?” (the September 3, 2012 Alban Weekly), narrates a few situations in which reliance on e-mail can backfire—particularly when e-mail is used to handle contentious situations.
Her article also explains five characteristics of e-mail that make it a poor choice for conflict resolution: (1) it’s impossible to read or respond to other people’s non-verbal body language; (2) uncertainty surrounding the time when others receive a message contributes to confusion and anxiety; (3) e-mail messages are more one-sided than spoken ones, making miscommunication more likely; (4) e-mail is not confidential; and (5) important conversations require “richer and fuller” interaction than is available through e-mail.
What resources can help open up fuller communication, especially in the face of conflict? In addition to the items listed at the end of the article, please consider the following: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (Second Edition); The Four Conversations: Daily Communication That Gets Results; and Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Tenth Anniversary Edition).
What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources do you suggest? We look forward to hearing from you.