EDITORIAL Frances Bryant Bradburn The High Cost of Poor Communication Communication potential abounds: e-mail zips from minds. While this often is a remarkable convenience, it office to office; electronic calendars search a building of also can be a vehicle for horrible misunderstanding. people, coming up with a common date, and scheduling Debate — albeit lengthy and even confrontational — that it for the masses; acquaintances from across the state or in a group situation would lead to resolution, can escalate nation no longer play telephone tag—they "talk" at their quickly to the point of hurt feelings or, worse yet, convenience via the Internet. But are we really commu accusations of insubordination. Comments that would nicating? Are we breaking down barriers or constructing seem humorous because of the wink of an eye or the more substantial ones—ones that are being made impen smirk of the lips can be misconstrued as mean or even etrable because we no longer are able subconsciously to obscene. Simple requests, so willingly accomplished analyze body language or casually change the subject because of the amiable tone of a human voice, can when tensions mount? appear to be direct, uncompromising orders. In short, e- Electronic mail is a loaded gun at the ready. Thought mail, a cost-saving and time-saving computer function, less—or even thoughtful—use of this communication tool can destroy an organization's morale and exact a heavy holds within it the means to destroy an entire organiza price in misguided energy. tion. While there is always the chance that this destruc We administrators must mirror the efficient—yes, the tion is intentional, more likely it will be unintentional, frugal—uses of e-mail. We must demonstrate e-mail at its even well-meaning and sincere. best: for scheduling, touching base, dropping notes, Conversation has always held this potential, but millennia sharing simple information. But, more importantly, we have fine-tuned the species. While talk creates myriad also must model when not to use it: when we must problem-solve, trouble-shoot, or deal with any situation problems, it solves them, too. We always have believed which may dissemble into anger, misunderstanding, or "If we can just get them (or keep them) talking, we will find a solution." Of course, the printed word has been hurt feelings. around almost as long, but it has served a different Time is money; energy, time. When an organization's purpose. "Putting something in writing" always has collective energy is focused upon problems arising from implied a final product. "Write that down" denotes a administrative laziness and statement to remember; "I'll avoidance tactics resulting from believe it whe n I see it in the improper use of e-mail, any writing" assumes veracity. savings generated by e-mail will be more than offset by the need But the printed word of e-mail to clean up an electronic is not necessarily any of the Electronic mail above. In today's hurried, personnel, budgetary, materials, product-based library environ and/o r equipment paper trail is a that never should have existed ment, e-mail is substituting for in the first place. the one-on-one meeting of loaded gun at the ready. 2 The Bottom Line Volume 7, Number 1
The Bottom Line: Managing Library Finances – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 1994
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera