Think Before You Type: More Than Half of Us Have Fallen Out Over Unclear Messages

Email and instant messaging have been a part of our daily lives for many years (remember BBM!), but now more than ever they may be causing more harm than good.

New research from CPD Online has found that 62% of Brits have fallen out with friends, family and colleagues due to misinterpreted emails and messages, with Women more likely to fall foul to this.

  • 76% of us have misinterpreted an email or instant message
  • Nearly ¾ of Brits believe that it’s far easier to misinterpret emails/IMs than face to face communication
  • Those in Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester are most likely to have a dispute over confusing messaging
  • As we get older we’re less likely to have these issues, with less than half of over 55’s being involved in email related issues.

Clarity in messaging whilst working is vital as we work remotely. Already almost 1 in 10 of all acts of violence within the workplace occurs between colleagues, but with stress levels higher than normal and face to face communication not as simple as before, thinking before we type is more important than ever.

David Lee from CPD Online suggests the following to improve clarity: 

“It can be really easy to misinterpret an email or instant message, you’re receiving the message cold and can’t see the sender’s physical reactions or hear the inflection in their voice to understand the tone.

However, some simple changes can help to prevent this:

  1. Use short sentences and keep paragraphs short
  2. Avoid jargon, slang and overcomplicated language
  3. If it is a complex message, then talk it through over the phone or video call instead; you can then summarise over email
  4. Don’t email or message in anger. Step away and come back to the message later in the day
  5. Don’t say anything in text that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face
  6. Avoid being rushed in your message – autocorrect can really change the message you’re sending if you don’t check it back and the shortness of your quick response may be received negatively.”

More information can be found –

Author: Editorial Team

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