I love e-mail. E-mail has revolutionized communications in law firms. I’m amazed by how e-mail has opened doors to group collaboration. I’m addicted to how e-mail allows us to quickly gather information, distribute documents, solicit ideas and recognize accomplishments. It has radically changed how we communicate, manage and work. And it is perhaps the single most dangerous threat to law firm leaders today.
Recently, I’ve found myself engaging in lengthy e-mail exchanges with people just a few doors or floors away when a face-to-face conversation would have been easier and more effective. For many lawyers, particularly introverts, e-mail offers a way to interact without the nasty distractions of body language, voice inflection or personal interest. Our work identities can sometimes become a collection of e-mail expressions – like a folder in Outlook – rather than the complex beings that we are.