Monday, September 2, 2013

Part of an email which we cannot see - tone (taken from a previus post)

Many of the Netiquette blog entries produced here are focused upon the tangible elements within an email. These would include fields, spelling, attachments and many more. Collectively, all of these contribute to the quality, readability and clarity of our emails.

However, no matter how perfect an email may be structurally, if the tone is not conveyed or interpreted correctly, an email might produce negative results.
Perhaps the best insight into this was described by Nicholas Epley (University of Chicago) and Prof. Justin Kruger (New York University) in a study published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, December 2005.
Epley and Kruger discovered that not only were the receivers of the e-mails overconfident about their understanding of the message's tone, but the senders were as well. About 78% of the senders thought that the receiver would correctly interpret the tone of their e-mail message. Some of professor Epley's other conclusions were "People in our study were convinced they've accurately understood the tone of an e-mail message when in fact their odds are no better than chance (58%)." and "People often think the tone or emotion in their messages is obvious because they 'hear' the tone they intend in their head as they write." The research also maintained that recipients believe they've correctly interpreted the tone 90% of the time!
We should all be careful of our tone and do everything possible to accomplish the delivery and effect we intend. This particularly is true for those writing to others outside their, demographics, country or culture. Future blogs will elaborate upon optimizing the accuracy of tone for each message an email sender composes.
Watch for the forthcoming book by Paul Babicki "NetiquetteIQ, A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". There will also be a product to test one's Netiquette "IQ". The website is at Register for coupons of the IQ test and the book.