RE: OT DOES E-MAIL ESCALATE CONFLICT?
(writing one handed so as not to wake the cat sleeping on my other arm)
i think a lot depends on how each person handles conflict to begin with.
in person i avoid it for the most part, but online, i will address an issue
i feel is important. i think if the parties involvrd are sensible and
willing to discuss a topic, they can come to an understanding or at least
respect the other person's position. we've had a few topics here that have
either swayed opposition to a small degree or ended with agreeing to
disagree. i don't see that as a problem. there's a healthy exchange of
ideas whether or not agreement is reached. when we were still on ahs, we
had one subscriber who was ejected because she was a screaming nutcase. no
flow of ideas would have worked with her. but the rest of us seem to
appreciate the exchange whether we agree or not.
of course this list is gardening. it's expected to have less conflict than
other types of lists. your post didn't limit itself to lists - it was
email in general. A few years ago i received some nasty messages from a
fellow mg . conflict was running high. she was obviously on some control
trip and i didn't like it and i knew there was no chance of her seeing any
view but her own. so i just blocked her address. i don't need that sort
of volatility in my life.
> [Original Message]
> From: Bonnie M. Holmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> To: <email@example.com>
> Date: 12/28/2002 8:44:28 AM
> Subject: [CHAT] OT DOES E-MAIL ESCALATE CONFLICT?
> Since we previously have had discussion about email etiquette, I thought
> the group might find this article interesting.
> >DOES E-MAIL ESCALATE CONFLICT?
> >According to the authors of a recent paper, using e-mail to resolve
> >conflicts carries a major risk: that disputes will escalate to
> >irresolvable levels and even damage senders' and receivers'
> >In the paper "E-Mail Escalation: Dispute Exacerbating Elements of
> >Electronic Communication," the authors suggest ways to keep conflicts
> >The authors contrast the properties of face-to-face communication with
> >those of electronic communication. Specifically, e-mail exchanges take
> >place in an antisocial context (participants are isolated at their
> >computers), allow new tactics (such as lengthy messages or
> >that bundle multiple arguments together) and are characterized by
> >reviewability and revisability (communicators are able to reread
> >messages and extensively shape their responses).
> >Though escalation may be more likely during electronic communication,
> >the authors, participants can - and should - manage that risk to resolve
> >conflicts more productively. To access the complete paper, go to
> >Source: Lauren Keller Johnson, MIT Sloan Management Review, Fall 2002.
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