Sunday, April 27, 2008

Short Email Vibe ...

I’m convinced it’s possible to get a really good feel for a person from their shortest emails – the ones that run one to three lines. This is obviously counter-intuitive in the extreme. Everyone knows emails are fraught with miscommunication. There’s no body language. No eye contact. No, fill in the blank… And yet I consistently find the people I connect with from those short emails go on to be what I expect. It’s not that someone with a less-than-stellar first email never proves to be better than expected. It’s more the case that the opposite hasn’t occurred yet. And I’m talking many, many emails.

So what’s the story with this? How can word choice and tone become apparent in emails as simple as those seeking a critique group or asking for directions to a meeting?

I’m still not sure but I think it’s got something to do with sentence length and word choice. Not like one uses words that are pleading and the other bossy. Or one is informal and the other is not. It’s more that a short message gives off a vibe of confidence and good humor.

At least I find it so.

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