3 simple reasons why we should never provide personal feedback through e-mail

If you are part of any type of organization, be it a global corporation, a non-lucrative organization, an education institution or simply the member of a family or a group of friends at least once, but surely a lot more than that you’ve had to provide and receive feedback on your work, your performance, your behavior, your proposals, your ideas or about the people you surround yourself with or just about whether or not you think a situation is right or wrong.

Without a doubt everybody, and I mean everybody receives and provides constant feedback all of the time, but sadly though, the fact that we do it often does not mean that we know how to do it right, no matter if we hold an executive title or if we’ve had prior training on the matter.

That is why I wanted to share 3 reasons why I am convinced that we should never provide personal feedback through e-mail:

  1. All feedback needs to be provided in a timely punctual fashion. If the reason why you need to provide your feedback to someone else is so important, you cannot wait until the other person receives, reads and digest what you have to say, much less can you assume that the person is going to do it right after you click on send; so if you are going to share your point of view and provide some feedback to help another person improve or correct an action, you have the moral obligation of doing it face to face.
  2. They say that feedback is a gift. And a gift is a present, so how exactly can you give it if you are not present? To give feedback you have to be physically and emotionally present at the place and time when you give it.
  3. And the most important reason why I think that we must never provide feedback via e-mail, I learned from the a book titled How to Wow  from author Frances Cole, in which she mentions the results from a research done by UCLA’s Professor Emeritus in Psychology Albert Mehrabian , that states that from all our interpersonal communication only 7% of our influence comes from the words we say, 38% comes from the tone in which we say those words and 55% from our corporal expression while we say them. And since in an e-mail we cannot add any tone (38%), much less show our body language (55%) we are relaying on a 7% of probability that our message will actually and completely go through.

So I have to ask: How are you providing feedback now a days? Because as if these three reasons were not enough, when you give your feedback through e-mail you risk being seen as either imposing your ideas or your instructions instead of trying to help someone.



What is Social Media? Is a question I often hear which might not turn out to be as easy to answer.

According to the search results in Google, Social Media is:

 Sounds confusing? Maybe a Little. In any case, would it be safe to say that Social Media is not a medium but the use that users give to digital media?

If you had to describe in just one word what Social Media is, what would you say?

A few days ago I had the opportunity to participate with @idibuidi and @edgarmontano recording the first podcast (or poscas as they named it) for their blog zinkho.com/blog, in which we had a very interesting conversation (its in Spanish though so make sure you have someone who can translate for you) about how to describe Social Media. And we arrived at the conclusion that the best word to use is: COLLABORATION.

And even though there are a lot of reasons to describe it with this one word that we shared during our conversation, here are a few others to do so:

Conversation: if you really want to leverage this great platform you have to join the conversation, you need to listen closely to it, learn from it and contribute to it.

Objectivity: there are many different points of view and you need to be objective to comprehend what others have to share.

Loyalty: to your values, principles and ideas. It’s not that you cannot change your point of view, is just that you should not do so and compromise your principles just to please others.

Leisure: joining the conversation and sharing your thoughts with others should always be fun, even a way to give leisure to your thoughts, so there, enjoy!

Attention: if you are to become part of the conversation you better be ready to pay close attention to what others share with you, so make a real effort to understand what they are saying.

Bulk: of so much information that everybody searches for every single day, and not just in Google…Every day there is more and more people sharing their information and knowledge through different sources like Twitter, Wiki, etc.

Obligation: to participate with others. SM is not about being an observer, each and every one of us who participate in SM, have the responsibility of contributing to each other.

Respect: to all opinions and thoughts that are different from yours

Authenticity: if there is one clear rule among all the participants of the conversation today is that you have to be authentic and not pretend to be someone else.

Thoughts: are very valued  and cherished in the conversation, so don’t be afraid to share yours.

Ideas: never before had it been so easy to have your ideas reach the ears of people around the world who can help you make your ideas become a reality.

Organization: you just need to take a look at FaceBook or Linkedin to realize the huge capacity of people to get organized in groups where they share their knowledge and even resources to work towards a common end.

Networking: when had it been so easy to establish a great network and even friendships with people living across the world and whom you have never seen before in your life? Up to a few years ago your network was physically limited to those people you met in person, but now your network can reach hundreds of thousands of very talented people!

Do you want to listen to other reasons why we say that Social Media is Collaboration, don’t miss listening to podcast at www.zinkho.com/blog


Picture Credit: Matt Hamm

An important note.

The comments, opinions and recommendations posted in this personal blog are my personal thoughts, and doesn't necesarily reflect those of my employer.