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The Task

The Task

Examine at least three exchanges between you and another person, using these three indexes. Are you engaged? Is the other person engaged? On what dimensions: emotional, social, task?

  • First, do not begin messages with anything negative. Why? This creates a general gloomy tone and negativity in the other person such that everything that follows will be interpreted as negative. So begin with the positive.
  • Second, aim for at least a two-to-one ratio in your positive–negative messaging.


264 reads


I, Me, Myself

Using a lot of “I, me, mine” words can reflect a neurotic or ruminative self-focus, in natural conversation it often takes the form of hedging (e.g., “I think this might work”). But it also can reflect dominance.

According to researchers, the ideal rank order of pe...


275 reads

The Types Of Engagement

According to researchers, three types of engagement can be measured via your words: emotional engagement, social engagement, and task engagement.

Let’s face it: relationship building is more difficult over email than face-to-face. One key to building a relationship vi...


344 reads

Putting Pride Aside

People behave differently when they are not face-to-face. They are more negative and, often, more presumptuous, conveying the impression that they are entitled and not easy to work with. This is a problem because excessive pride or hubris harms our ability to locate the sweet spo...


234 reads

You And I

You And I

As a second step in analyzing your own email communication, count all your pronouns—e.g., “I,” “me,” “you,” “us,” “our,” “we,” etc. Personal pronouns reflect attention to people rather than to objects or concepts.

The more personal pronouns are present, the more people are...


331 reads

Conversational Tones

Conversational Tones

Think about your e-communication like cholesterol, meaning that there are two kinds of conversational tones: positive and negative.

  • Positive-toned communication: phrases such as “This is great,” “I really like . . . ‚” and “Thank you,” through greetings (“Dear so-and...


353 reads




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