Email is imploding. Why? The breakdown in understanding and valuing communication awareness and effectiveness among people sharing ideas.

You’ve Seen This Happen

Recently, I watched two individuals who were working on the same project, in the same work area, exchange their thoughts and ideas with each other solely via email and text. There was no interpersonal interaction, communication or understanding. They could have easily had a face-to-face/one-to-one collaboration and conversation. They chose instead to exchange and expand complex thoughts around a complex project via an electronic interaction. It’s no wonder that when I sat in on the meeting in which their ideas were challenged directly that their thought process collapsed.

The problem? They had exchanged emails and texts; they hadn’t built the relationship of interaction, understanding and communication.

It’s happening more and more in workplaces and in homes… people have exchanged interpersonal interaction and conversation for soundbites, tidbits and broad interpretation.

Suddenly, the phone seems completely revolutionary and relevant again as a means to have a conversation that allows people to expand their interactions beyond one dimensional.

Get Your Butt Out of Your Chair

If the phone is revolutionary in expanding communication, then getting face-to-face and one-to-one is flat out disruptive and an idea to be maximized.

Here’s a suggestion. The next time you have to communicate with someone who’s in close proximity to you, and you think about sending an email or text, get your butt out of your chair and go talk to them – have a meaningful conversation about the topic.

Need to have a challenging conversation with a customer or client? Pick-up the phone and call them. Does a really challenging situation with a client require real face-to-face awareness and insight? Make the investment… go see them. You may be surprised at what this does to deepen your relationship, define a competitive differentiator and increase your value.

Same Problem Different Technology

In an era in which technology is viewed as contributing to our effectiveness and efficiency, it may be worth a look back to Circa 1990 to recognize that as much as things change, they truly remain the same. Check it out here and you’ll have a better understanding of my perspective and purpose around direct communication and interaction.

Email, just like fax machines, isn’t an effective method of communication when used one-dimensionally or incorrectly. Technology certainly doesn’t offer a method of interpersonal communication.

Let’s not be delusional. I use text, email and other forms of technology daily. I also invest the majority of my day either on the phone with clients or working with them face-to-face. The result?  Greater clarity, less misinterpretation and differentiated understanding. Why? Because direct interaction and communication matter.


Technology has expedited communication, but in so many cases has failed to make it more effective.  Email does not allow someone to convey their thoughts as accurately as they could face-to-face.

Email is imploding. It shouldn’t be your primary source of communication, rather it should be a supplement to your differentiated one-to-one plan and interpersonal strategy.

Earlier this month I discussed casualization of the workplace and lowering your standards simply because it is viewed as acceptable to others. Don’t allow email to become another casualization trap. Stand apart and be the person who excels at interpersonal communication.

Be Authentic. Be Purposeful. Make it Meaningful.


P.S. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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