As was true with the advent of the printing press and the postal service, email will likely go down in history as a dramatic invention that changed the way humans connect.  But, over-reliance on email has its drawbacks.  It is not a one-size-fits-all communication tool.  Here are some signals that it’s time to step back from email and pick up the phone.

  • When the string of back and forth emails is growing, but you’re getting no closer to a resolution.  
  • When someone in the email thread has gotten upset and begins lashing out or is overly apologetic.  
  • When you have sent several requests, need an answer, but have not gotten a response.  
  • When the list of things you need to discuss is more than two items.  
  • When a complicated explanation or pre-amble is required.  
  • If the email you’re writing is more than three paragraphs, and you still have more to say.  

One day, email and text may replace all face-to-face or voice-to-voice communication. But that day has not arrived just yet…thankfully.


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