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E-mail has changed the way we interact. But it cannot replace conversation.


The next time you experience an issue over e-mail, ask yourself if it is something that would be better served by a real conversation. Then have the courage to stop e-mailing and pick up the phone, says Harvard Business Review.

"E-mail has fundamentally changed the way we interact. But it cannot replace live conversation. This especially applies when resolving a conflict or communicating an important business decision. Far too many people try to do sensitive business via e-mail. This is problematic because tone and context are easy to misread.

"In a live conversation, how one says something is as important as what they are saying. Without inflections and intonations, it's hard to understand the feelings behind the words. In fact, e-mail-based conflict often escalates because you aren't forced to be as thoughtful as you would be in a one-on-one conversation.

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"Next time you have a delicate or complex issue to discuss, take your hands off the keyboard and pick up the phone."

Today's management tip was adapted from "Don't Send That E-mail. Pick up the Phone!" by Anthony Tjan.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

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