Face-to-Face Communication within Businesses
Email is not a business model, but it is a communications tool developed by the internet’s founders. Businesses can not allow email to corrupt the face-to-face communication abilities in order to build a strong business culture.
A company with very little interaction may suffer dire consequences by their lack of human activities such as meetings, luncheons, and other important conversational settings (Howarth, 2001, p. 224). If one were to replace their communications with an email model, they may lose interest in developing strong principles and work relationships.
The computer’s ability to create fast and easy conversations is not the solution to every communication problem that exists within an organization. A deeper look into this factor may include the importance of human interaction, limitations of email, and lack of mutual interest in email (Kallish, 2007, p.1). The more we understand the human’s need for interaction, the easier it will be for us to develop an action plan that integrates email for an overall advantage in communication while spacing a proper model for business models to evolve successfully.
Social psychologist Carolina Howarth (2001) conducted a study on the importance of human interaction for communities (p. 225). The basis of business requires a constant interaction with
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Conversational models are not sufficient or stimulating enough for conversationalists to continue an interaction. An email conversation or interview gives each party half of the story associated with the complete conversation. Social psychologists recognize this in their research; a human must recognize or read nonverbal in order to receive a full understanding of their partner’s ideas (Howarth, 2001, p. 225).
No one can dispute this fact because we see this in long distance relationships. A couple can not and will not stay together for an extensive amount of time if they are experiencing ‘love’ through emails. As with a company, a company can not grow if their success is built on the model of email as their communication.
Another issue arises during the argument of email as a complete business model – its limitations. As aforementioned, email is only a tool for companies to use in order to get a good answer in a short amount of time. Businesses can not use email for its complete business model due to lack of non-verbal interaction, staleness of context, and slowness of responses (Mind Tools, p.1). Nonverbal communication creates the ‘bread and butter’ of any organization’s development. Associates can tell a person’s true feelings regarding a subject without pressing the delete key or trying to guess the real issue. The emotion-icons of smiley faces may add a little hint to what someone means, but it does not help developing a concrete understanding.
The staleness of email context can create issues if someone accidentally CAPS a sentence in which the receiver will contest of ‘yelling’ their points (Mind Tools, p.1). Problems are sure to rise if a whole email is sent in capital letters to an unfamiliar recipient. For instance, an employer may think an employee has a problem with their ideas if they write a complete response in capital letters. One, the employer may consider their response rude because of its format and two; the employee may suffer consequences because of this miscommunication. This incident may lead to a phone call or face-to-face meeting to get an idea of what is going on within each person’s mind regarding the email.
Another issue could create problems for a company whom base their communication on email: a lack of interest in writing or typing out a response continuously. Writing is not for everyone and email could create a disturbing effect once employees complain about responding to long emails. As a communication tool, it is quick and easy to send an answer of something small or maybe very insignificant to a situation, but as far as it working through a business model – no (Kallish, 2007, p.1). A company can lose vital information within an email or some of their most important documents can be sent to the wrong person.
Emails can contain very little information and it must be concise or a reader will lose interest easily. Aside from writing, an email has to explain a process just as a correspondence letter to another associate within the company. Without the right meaning or format, a recipient may disregard the email completely or the email may end up in a SPAM can within someone’s inbox. What will happen if an employer sends a very important memo regarding a hazardous chemical? Whoever did not receive the email would be in big trouble! It is a little extreme, but face-to-face or phone calls can solve a problem like that within seconds. Some people would have to wait for an allotted amount of time before receiving a good response.
Effective Email: How To Communicate Powerfully By Email. Mind Tools. Retrieved January 15, 2006 from http://www.mindtools.com/CommSkll/EmailCommunication.htm.
Howarth, C. S. (2001). Towards a Social Psychology of Community: A Social Representations Perspective. Journal for The Theory of Social Behavior, 31(2), p. 223-230. Retrieved January 14, 2006 from http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1468-5914.00155?cookieSet=1.
Kallish. E. (2007). Ask Ella: Email Drives New Communication Standards. Retrieved January 14, 2006 from http://www.channel3000.com/news/1007192/detail.html.