Tag Archives: Communication

Tone and context

Emails do not have a tone….

Well not without context.  I am always fascinated how people can say the tone of the email. I am sure the person writing the mail had a tone, but its not possible for the reader to read the tone as intended without adding their own tone to it…

And here we enter a mine field, because I have checked myself, sometimes I have to reread something a few times, because we see what we want to see most of the time. It’s easy to jump on the horse wagon and go off about something, but do we ever stop to realise, the tone that we apply, may not be what is really meant.

Politicians exploit this, because they “never say” or “never meant it that way”. But the plain old truth about the matter that unless you understand context (and few do) we simply have to read words for what they are. Books are a better medium to get a point across, because they can create context, but emails are too short for that. I am also sure you would not want essays arriving in your mail box.

Tone and context are needed for effective delivery of your intended message, yet few people ever give both.  It’s the reason I write with brackets and supposed expressions.

What’s worse is that even in speaking to people, they really only hear what they want to hear or simply skim what is being said……

I sometimes wish we could simply download what we are trying to say, but hey I guess there is a reason that we are forced to use words.  And we are subjected to the reasoning of others….


Women are from the East and men are from the west….

Today is a bit tongue in cheek, so please do not take offence.

This is an excerpt from the book Outliers, it is a conversation between an employee (Mr. Kim) and his boss, a division chief (Kwacang)

Kwacand : It’s cold and I’m hungry
(Meaning : Why don’t you buy a drink or something to eat?)

Mr. Kim : How about having a glass of liquor?
(Meaning : I will buy liquor for you.)

Kwacang : It’s okay. Don’t bother.
(Meaning : I will accept your offer if you repeat it.)

Mr. Kim : You must be hungry. How about going out?
(Meaning : I insist upon treating you)

Kwacang : Shall I do so?
(Meaning : I Accept)

That’s a strange conversation. But nevertheless its one that happens to be quite normal in a specific culture.

As the title states its an Asian culture. Most of Asia is receiver orientated when it comes to communication. meaning that it is up to the receiver to interpret what someone is saying to them.

Western culture has what we call a transmitter orientation. this means that the responsibility to communicate ideas clearly, are with the speaker.

Therefore my conclusion…. With regards to the slight communication gap between women and men…. Is that women have a receiver orientation and men a transmitter orientation….

What do you think?