It can be challenging to communicate when our co-workers are standing in front of us. For example, you may make an assumption they are angry with you based on their tone or that they do not like you because of body language. In email there is no tone. We interpret an email solely based off of the words, therefore; it is even more critical for individuals to be conscious of what they are saying. A short to the point response in email can be presumed to be rude or that you are yelling at the individual. While a long, detailed email can get lost in translation.
I often respond to emails in a yes or no manner with very little detail. Who wants to sit at their computer and read a novel? I don’t. However, a co-worker came to me once and asked if I was upset with her. I said no, why would you think that. She stated that my email was short and that she thought maybe, I was mad at how she was performing her job. I was shocked. I had never thought of it that way. For me, I responded in a brief to the point email because I did not feel that the email warranted more.
Individuals have their own tone of voice, pitch and cadence. We speak in a particular manner and this same manner is how we read information. If you are a negative individual you will read emails with a negative connotation. And if you are positive and upbeat, you will read with a happy tone. This is critical when the person is not in front of you and you cannot read their body language.