|Einstein, initially, didn’t know the full potential of his e=mc² equation. Likely, the creator of e-mail didn’t know the vast power he or she was about to unleash either, both constructively and destructively. This is no place for conflict resolution.
Ever been involved in an E-war? This is where an email goes on a wild ride through un-chartered territory, bringing in all kinds of unanticipated responses and people into the mix. All of a sudden things just get out of hand, misunderstood, and very murky – virtual war (okay, okay maybe it’s just a battle).
This is about the time unplugging the computer, hiding under the desk, or screaming seems like a good idea!
E originally stood for electronic, although has gathered many other meanings:
Eternity – how long the message can exist.
Endless – the number of times the ‘forward’ or ‘reply’ button can be pushed.
Enormous – the number of people who may get involved.
Escalate – what it can do to a small issue or misunderstanding – the root of all Ewars!
Embarress – what happens when you forward a message without checking the truth of it.
Evidence – provides documentation whether you want it or not!
Want to End the war?
Simple: Pick up the phone or walk down the hall and talk! A good idea is to begin with your initial intended purpose.
Want to escape future wars? Remember e-mail is great for Exchanging concrete information. Anything with emotion involved is dangerous.
We are human beings, the subtle beauty of our communication gets lost and misread in electronic communication. True connection requires voice or in-person energy.
Feel free to forward, or better yet print a hard copy and go share in-person!
Yours in E-peace!
Karen – how true! I have also found people try to avoid potential confrontations with an e-mail. In the end it usually makes matters worse and you still have to deal face to face. Better to start out that way and diffuse a potential sticky situation. Thanks for a good post.