Email does not communicate tone: research findings
Research in the December Journal of Personality and Social Psychology indicates that there is only a 50/50 chance of an email recipient correctly interpreting the tone of an email.
According to an article by the American Psychology Association we need to use the phone much more when the tone of a communication is critical.
This is consistent with the bioteaming philosophy described, for example in, The Messaging Instinct, where teams use messages to get their team-mates attention and then use the phone to work through the detail rather than just relying on ‘single-shot fully self-contained’ emails to communicate.
Bioteams Books Reviews
If you think that there is not much human teams can learn from nature think again! Temple Grandin in her amazing book Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (p303-307) puts forward the incredible theory that early humans only became today’s successful homo sapiens because they learned to act and think like the wolves they co-habited with.