Oftentimes, an email about a problem should have been a phone call. And sometimes a phone call should have been an in-person meeting.
People often either confuse modes of communication or believe they just don’t matter. This comes from our obsession with content. We somehow believe that if the content of our communication is all there, nothing else should matter.
It also has something to do with personality – some people are simply bashful and will not pick up a phone even when that’s the simplest aand most logical thing to do.
Finally, it is all about the cultural context in which the interaction is set. Which is why global work even among team members across cultures is so challenging.