Abdicate Responsibility

A couple of months ago I wrote a piece called ‘It’s Good to Talk’, which shared some interesting research from New York University and Chicago University on why email is not a good tool to use if you want to be understood. Building from that, here is reason number 256 why email sucks:

Abdicate Responsibility

I write some crap.

I press Abdicate Responsibility Send.

It’s your problem now, deal with it.

And if you don’t, I’ll copy a bunch of other folk in just to heap pressure on you, in fact, fuck it, I’ll do that right from the start.

Sound familiar?

Please – before you send that email, go and see the other person first, particularly if they are at the next desk, or on the same floor, or same building. And if they’re not, then call them. For the most part, email should be our last resort, not our first port of call.

2 thoughts on “Abdicate Responsibility

  1. julia briggs

    Oooh……are you sure you don’t want a job back in Corporate life?

    Email is a tool, and a very efficient tool for conveying simple facts etc. But yes, anything that is difficult, sensitive, open to interpretation, needs ‘socialising’ or is just plain old fun is best done face to face. Or, failing that, phone.
    However, the problem with phone is …..getting hold of people! So sometimes the default will end up being good old email.

    And the nice thing about email is the audit trail – if you are dealing with someone in the least bit flakey email can be the best medium. So a little part of the problem might be the audience?

    Right, back to my inbox

    Reply
    1. Doug Shaw Post author

      Hi Julia – in answer to your first question….not just now thank you 🙂

      I guess this post is more of a reminder to those who have slipped into a lazy habit of email first. There are other ways. You and I tend to default to phone first, and not always, absolutes are never the answer.

      Re: flaky people – well again I prefer to have the conversation first and then follow it up. Break cycles, form new habits.

      Keep talking….says he writing you a note 😛

      Reply

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