We now manage them automatically, every day, constantly; they are part of our life, of our routine, they determine our way of working, our relationships, our communication.
Yet we don’t give them so much importance, sometimes we respond automatically and open them without thinking: our relationship with emails is often mechanical, routine. There is no real education in the use of a tool that permeates our existence in a decisive way. Knowing how to manage emails, and how to create great ones, is sometimes crucial.
Let’s see together some aspects that you may not have thought of but that could completely change your way of communicating..
It is impossible not to communicate
Let’s start with Watzlawick, who in his Pragmatics of human communication argued that “it is not possible not to communicate”, that is, that every type of response, even non-response, implies a message. This is certainly also true for emails: our way of responding will provide the interlocutor with a message that goes beyond the reply itself. For example, if we do not reply to an email, it goes without saying that the interlocutor will feel ignored. Similarly, if our email is short or implicitly poorly written, we will be transmitting a feeling of little importance. Maybe there is nothing wrong with this kind of answers (it depends on who we have on the other side), the important thing is to be aware of it and not to transmit a message other than the one we want to give.
In the shoes of the other
It is clear that all communication arises from the desire or the need to convey information. This need of ours, however, must meet the desire or need of the other to receive them. The information that we will be able to transmit will in fact be equal not to what we will say, but to what the other is willing to listen to.
A good rule of thumb would therefore be to write emails that are commensurate with the recipient’s availability rather than our need to transmit information. So let’s put ourselves in the other person’s shoes, asking ourselves, for example, how much time he can devote to our email and what interest he will have in reading it. Try this and notice if by chance your writing changes.
Less is more
In a now famous letter Pascal opened the speech thus: “I apologize for the length of my letter, but I have not had time to write a shorter one”. The ability to synthesize, to refine one’s texts and to eliminate useless parts is a real art, which can make our communication infinitely more impactful, powerful and effective (as well as practical). So practice the art of essentiality, of saying more with less, and you will see that even your interlocutors will appreciate.
Hear the voices
Sometimes the reader imagines a voice speaking in his head (maybe it’s happening to you too at this very moment). This makes us understand how even the cold reading of a written text acquires a component of “theatricality” that can have a certain emotional impact.
It is therefore essential to consider this more emotional aspect that words can convey, for example by choosing a particular lexicon, or a construction of the most impactful period. Creativity in this sense can be cultivated, the important thing is to first ask ourselves what effect we want to generate on our reader and imagine how we can achieve it using “the magic of words”.
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