Adam Bryant's e-mail communication talk identifies the problems with its transmission capabilities.
Though e-mail was originally invented as a productivity tool, it has proven to be a less-than-stellar communication medium. The main issue is that people are unable to read tone or body language when they are engaging in an e-mail correspondence. As a result, messages can become "lost in translation," resulting in miscommunication that leads to disagreement. It seems counterintuitive, but people are actually losing, rather than gaining time, when trying to resolve a dispute through e-mail. Bryant echoes a sentiment voiced by another CEO when he mentions that e-mail taps into "the part of our brain that wants to have the last word in a discussion."
In short, e-mail does nothing to foster our working relationships; if anything, it can be detrimental to their connective tissue. Bryant references business leaders who implement specific e-mail etiquette for their teams, such as a rule that states no arguments can be held over e-mail. Ultimately, Bryant's key take-away is simple: in order to receive less e-mails, you should send less e-mails.