The Dangers of Email
by Dana Bristol-Smith

Email has become the medium of choice for many business communications. It’s easy, it’s fast, and people can read their emails (or not) when they have the time. We all know the advantages of email. It helps us communicate with people who are sitting nearby or anywhere in the world. It allows me to communicate with you each month!

Just because email is easy and fast
DOES NOT mean that it is the
most effective communication medium.

Here are some of the dangers of using email for all of your business communications:

1. Misunderstandings – Without hearing your voice, or seeing your facial expressions, it is difficult to discern tone, meaning, and emphasis. I can interpret your written message differently than if I was talking to you on the phone or in person.

2. Decisions can be delayed – If I need more information from you to make a decision, I have to ask questions. We can spend a lot of time going back and forth with email. Contrast that with picking up the phone and handling the issues in a conversation.

3. A sloppy image – How many emails do you read that have typos and other errors? Because people are replying to messages so quickly, (sometimes before thinking) and doing it while other things are going on, and using their Crackberries – oh, I mean Blackberries, words are left out or misspelled and sometimes emails just don’t make sense! I bet that you have had to guess what someone was trying to communicate. I know I have.

4. Your message gets lost – If you don’t have a compelling subject line, your email may not even get opened. And, if it does get opened and it is lengthy with long paragraphs, many readers will just stop reading.

Since work involves working with people, and getting things done through people– we have to build relationships. We have to interact, get to know someone, build trust, and all the other stuff that helps us get our work done. I believe that we’ve become too dependant on email and our relationships may suffer as a result.


About the Author
Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. You can email Dana