In “Web Rage: Why It Happens, What it Costs, How to Stop” authors Daniel Goleman and Clay Sinsky point out that most forms of electronic commnication – i.e, email, IM, and telephony – cannot provide those subtle, mainly non-verbal clues that help us form our interactions in those conversations. Without these signals we may speak (or write) inappropriately, be robbed of essential tools to support decision making, be denied the ability to “read” those speaking as well as the sense of the “room,” and may lead to us giving more weight to frequent, forceful speakers, believing that in the absence of comment from the non-speakers, these noisey few represent the room.
Several observatins can be drawn from the paper:
1. People communicate better when they are together.
2. People communicate better electronically if they have previously developed relationships through face-to-face interactions.
3. Groundrules, agendas, go-arounds, etc. – i.e., good meeting practices – are at least as important for electronic meetings as they as for face-to-face ones.
4. Significant matters should be handled face-to-face if at all possible. This is especially true if relationships don’t exist between the participants.
Good advice for all of us. Have a great week. . . . . jim