Snarky? Or Just Dashing Off a Short Note?

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Sometimes it stings a little when you read an email or text from a colleague and it's jarringly short and pointed.

Wrong tone. Redo.

Too long. Cut in half.

Pls rewrite, make more formal.

Is that snark? Or are they simply pressed for time and sending a to-the-point note? Usually the latter.

So much context around tone and meaning gets lost in email and text, and that can lead to misunderstandings or worse.

We should assume the best, especially when the note is from someone you generally have a great relationship with.

They may be dashing off a note in the few seconds before they walk into a meeting, or during a lull on another phone call.

Their attempt at brevity and directness is meant as a kindness to you so they seem responsive and respectful of giving you feedback that can keep a project on track.

If you notice tone creeping up more frequently, there may be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.

When that's the case, pick up a phone or better yet -- meet in person, ideally over a meal.

It's hard to be hostile when you're spending an hour together breaking bread.