A while ago I was on Fox News Live! discussing E-mail Etiquette. One of the questions I was asked to comment on was about the differences between men and women when it came to e-mail. The question posed to me was in regard to “a new book that was out” that stated that men were more cryptic while women preferred pleasantries in e-mail.
The book they were asking me to comment on was never identified, but I found that to be an odd question. Men and women communicate differently off-line; in all modes of communication. Men and women are different! No news flash here.
What was odd was that this mysterious unnamed book seemed to make mention of this so that we could understand the communication nuances in e-mail habits between genders. My response? E-mail Etiquette is not gender specific. Not once have I ever thought of the intent or tone in an e-mail to be different based on the gender of the sender. I take folks at their word, the words they choose to use, how they use them and how they type them.
Regardless of the “whys” when it comes to how men and women communicate in e-mail, proper sentence structure, greetings, a courteous closing and the basic use of your spell checker has nothing to do with whether you are male or female. E-mail Etiquette applies if you are using e-mail software and doesn’t change if you are wearing a dress or a tie.
I’ve run into just as many men who communicate succinctly and with great thought (more so than some women I communicate with) so that blows this book’s comments right out of the water. Yes, genders may think that they can communicate differently because of what they are or men may have to make more fo an effort because they may have not have taken typing class as was the case with women back in the day.
That said, it would behoove both genders to ensure their e-mail etiquette skills leave the perception that they did in fact make it successfully out of grade school.
Regardless of your gender, taking the time to communicate with clarity and courtesy is a skill each and every one of us must continue to work on moving forward. Only by doing so will e-mail remain the valuable communication tool it can be rather than a breeding ground for laziness and miscommunication.
E-mail etiquette applies to all users and is not gender specific. At least not that I am aware of as I’ve never felt the need to make this mention in any of my books.