Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When to use Email

While communicating with supervisors we sometimes are unable to express ourselves completely. The sheer dominance of the supervisor or the person in authority leads the conversation to a direction favorable to him/her. Quite a few times it is unfavorable since the supervisor does not really understand our circumstances and is not empathetic. The sheer lack of empathy can leave us frustrated. This is the time to effectively use email before making a telephonic or a face to face conversation. Email is characterized by limited visual and verbal cues. It can help us completely explain the situation and fix the agenda before the face to face interaction. It is a good way of creating an anchor before the discussion. This anchor can keep the context of discussion to "our side" and help us in putting forth our perspective on the issue. Thus emailing clearly about what you want to discuss can help create an anchor before the supervisor hijacks the entire discussion. But, a word of caution too. Email tends to fuel aggressive behavior due to the limited cues of the medium. So it is important to be very careful while choosing words especially when you are sending it to your supervisor.