Home Search Speaker Request Speaker Corporate Event Planning For Ceo's Videos About Us Articles Links
Peter DeJager Full Profile >> Testimonials … Contact Us … FAQ … Site Map … Glossary …
The Perils of E-mail
by Peter DeJager

It's easier to sleep in a hammock full of cats, than it is to hold meaningful and civilized conversations via E-mail. At least, that's the impression you get if you watch a large enough sample of E-Mail.

Somewhere between the art of conversation and the act of E-mail, we lose our patience, tolerance, perspective and most importantly our sense of humor.

The result? We ruffle the feathers of our peers, rub the fur of management the wrong way, act like foxes in a hen house, and generally forget we're human beings.

E-mail is different, difficult and demanding. It's not talking by typing. When we talk we repeat ourselves to clarify our meaning. When we type we remove repetitions because we were told never to use the same word more than once in a paragraph.

Repetition in writing is a no-no. It's a no-no to repeat yourself in writing. See? Whenever we see blatant repetition, we cringe. Even though it serves a very useful and accepted role in everyday speech.

This lack of repetition also allows ambiguity to creep into our messages. When we repeat an idea, we reinforce meaning. Without repetition, we don't know if the writer really meant what they wrote.

Lack of repetition also means that we don't know what is important to the writer. Repetition serves to highlight important points and issues. When we repeat a particular point, it is obvious to the listener that that particular point is important to our argument.

Another aspect of writing and speaking is that it is difficult (if not impossible sometimes) to put our exact meaning and intent into mere words. This difficulty is aggravated by the speed of E-mail. We tend to fire off responses without really considering our words and what they might convey to the reader.

Our typing and grammar skills (rather, our lack of these skills) adds yet another layer of confusion to E-mail. We all make typos and grammatical errors, which is why editors make a living. ""Nothing should see print until it's edited"" is a pretty good policy.

E-mail ignores the concept of proofreading.... most people mail their first draft of a note, without ever even reading it. Is it any wonder that Flaming (the act of heated written abuse in response to some transgression, real or imagined) has become a national pastime?

E-mail is new. We learnt how to talk on our own because it's built into our programming somehow. We were taught how to read and write, and for the most part we practice a lot of reading, but little writing.

For many people, E-mail is their only form of writing, other than shopping lists, yet nobody teaches us how to write short electronic messages, which resist misunderstanding.

All of this: the lack of repetition, the difficulty of writing what we mean, typos, the errors in grammar, the lack of proofreading, our lack of practice in writing short, concise notes etc. etc. results in E-mail which seldom, if ever, contains within it, the true intent and meaning of the writer. Then why do we respond to E-mail as if it did?

Most of our communication problems in E-mail result from us responding to it as if it truly conveyed what the writer meant to say. We respond with notes beginning ""You said..."" rather than ""I understood your note to mean..."" To communicate better in E-mail keep in mind just two things:
  1. What you think they meant, is likely not what they meant to write.
  2. If someone mis-reads what you wrote, it's likely because you mis-wrote what you meant.
You can of course e-mail me to comment on this little missive!

(c) 2004 Peter de Jager - Peter is a Keynote Speaker, writer and consultant focusing on issues relating to Change Management and the Future. All Rights Reserved.

Home Search Speaker Request Speaker Corporate Event Planning For Ceo's Videos About Us Articles Links
Testimonials … Contact Us … FAQ … Site Map … Glossary …
© Copyright @ 2004 Keynote Resource Inc. All rights reserved. Permission is granted for linking to web pages within Keynote Resource
To book a speaker call toll-free : 1-800-420-4155       e-mail:
yvon@keynoteresource.com      Privacy Policy
Privacy Statement/Policy
Keynote Resource realizes that when you complete forms on our web site you are providing us with information that is of a private nature. We assure you that we will not share or sell this information to a third party for any purpose. We treat all information provided to us as strictly confidential.
About KeynoteResource.com:
Keynote Resource speakers bureau can help you find the ideal keynote speakers for your next event. We represent inspirational speakers, motivational speakers, corporate entertainment and more.

Keynote Resource speakers bureau will find the perfect keynote speaker for your upcoming event, whether you are looking for inspirational speakers with a message, motivational speakers to set the tone of your conference or a facilitator for your annual retreat.

Keynote Resource speakers bureau works closely with executives, meeting planners and training directors to create events that result in highly productive learning or are just plain fun. We can identify business speakers, inspirational speakers or motivational speakers that are well suited to your event, send you videos and press kits to help you with your speaker selection and we’ll work closely with the keynote speakers you hire to ensure they customize their presentations to meet the specific needs of your audience.

We have speakers in all areas including Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

We can book speakers for you worldwide, in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, England, France, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil and The Bahamas. Click Here to Search A Speaker

Speaker fees are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Fees may vary based on the speaker’s availability, supply and demand, program length and location of the event.

Each fee range listed on this website is intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual price quote may be above or below the fee range stated. For the most current fee, please contact your representative directly.