In most countries I have worked in, emails do not result in communication. Emails disappear into black holes. It’s the face to face that matters. Let’s just quietly ignore the number of years I’ve spent waiting for an ‘audience’ with a Minister or Director.
There is another curious thing about emails. It’s so easy to be rude. By rude I mean insulting. There are some people whose emails I have to decide when to open because they can break my spirit. Regrettably, this situation is not uncommon. I’ve worked with ministers who keep folders of disrespectful emails they have received from donor partners.
An old co-worker said it best, ‘waste words on people’ so they understand your intent and motivations. This post is in defense of the compassionate email. If you wouldn’t have the balls to speak to your grand-mother like that, don’t type it in an email. Ever.