Should you negotiate with your spouse by telephone or e-mail?
Face-to-face conversations provide your best opportunity to get your spouse to hear your side. Telephones and e-mail may be more convenient than a visit to an attorney’s office, but the other side can better understand us if they see our body language, eyes, facial expressions and voice inflections. These are our best persuasive tools, and it is foolish for us not to use them whenever possible.
People tend to be braver and meaner over the phone and in e-mail. Even if our telephone conversation or e-mail note started civilly, we could get fired up pleading our case and just get angrier and meaner with each word. Using the convenience of e-mail or the telephone usually isn’t worth the trouble that could result.
If you must negotiate in this way, try to be as upbeat as possible. Schedule the phone calls for when both of you are usually less harried, more rested, and likely to be in a good mood.