Why you shouldn’t depend on e-mail

Communication is more than words. Emotional intelligence expert Dan Goleman illustrated this in a New York Times column from 2007. He was negotiating via e-mail with a publisher whom he had met face to face only once. Goleman thought the details were working out just fine and was surprised when the publisher one day sent him a note: “It’s difficult to have this conversation by e-mail. It sounds strident, and you sound exasperated.”

Exasperated? Goleman had no idea he was coming across that way. A quick phone call cleared everything up, and it taught him a valuable lesson: Sometimes we need the full range of information that can come only from looking someone in the eyes and hearing the sound of his or her voice.

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