Editorial Thoughts


Michele Pesula Kuegler is the founder of PeKu Publications and chief foodie at Think Tasty. She runs this one-woman show focusing on creating new recipes to delight her family, friends, and herself.

The Value of Emojis (AKA Clear Communication)

by Michele Pesula Kuegler on August 17th, 2015

emojiOver the past weekend my husband and I traveled to Florida to visit my in-laws. Due to a number of reasons, including sports tryouts, summer jobs, and classes starting, we went without any of our children. While traveling I saw a social media comment written by one of our four that was unclear. Did it mean that this teen was unhappy with me? Was it meant to be a tongue-in-cheek joke? Without any emojis, I wasn’t really sure. While it didn’t warrant a phone call, I did add it to my mental checklist for discussing upon our return.

Separate from this parenting concern, I had made some major changes at PeKu before leaving. All team members were emailed, and (I thought) all were aware of the forthcoming effects from these changes. On Saturday I received an email from a team member who wondered whether his role were at risk. I felt horribly. Although I thought I had made it clear that he would keep the same position and assignments, to him it wasn’t clear.

I sent a reply almost immediately, assuring him that nothing had changed for him. I also apologized for the lack of clarity in my email. I tend to think that I am concise in my emails, but I have learned a lesson. In situations as crucial as this, ask for an extra set of eyes to make sure my message is clear.

Fast forward to this morning and the ride to work with the aforementioned teen. I asked if the post was meant to be funny or if something were wrong. To my surprise it was neither of those. It was a technical/operational statement, which was something I hadn’t considered. It was neither meant to be a snarky nor funny remark, it actually was meant as endearing.

As I drove, I thought about my own team email and my teen’s post. Sometimes there need to be more attention to details; be it emojis, more words, or a response required. In my work world, where so much of my communication comes in written format, I’ll be sure to utilize the clearest language possible.



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