Straightening my office bookshelf this weekend, I found a news clipping I had saved because of its wise words from advice columnist Carolyn Hax. Although she was advising a wife on texts between her and her husband, the advice applies to texts in business. She wrote:
And you both badly need to stop communicating by text. Texting strips away context, facial expression, voice inflection and elaboration, also known as everything human beings use to indicate their tone. It also creates false courage. You’ve both basically asked for a fight by using such a blunt medium to have such a delicate exchange.
I especially liked Ms. Hax’s comment on false courage. If you would not have the courage to make a statement to someone directly in conversation, do not use a text–or an email–to communicate it. The words will linger on screens long after your courage has evaporated. I have seen both personal and business relationships suffer and die because of ill-considered texts.
Even in routine texts, I like to greet the other person and sign off in a friendly way to be sure my positive tone comes across. Although a message may be routine, the relationship is not.
If you have advice on texting or not texting, please share it.