You’ve been there. You get an email accusing you of some action or lack of action. The tone is rude and inappropriate. The sender includes several people, many who have no reason to be involved. As you read what is written, the words spark enraged anger from deep within your soul.
You immediately react by hitting “Reply All.” In fact, you want to vindicate yourself, so you “Bcc” your supervisor. Through your rage, you unleash a barrage of words that support your position.
Immediately, after hitting the send button, you receive a text from your boss. Yes! He wants to congratulate you on an excellent response! Only when you open the text, it says “meet me in my office first thing in the morning.”
Emails and texting, perceived in the wrong way, can lessen or eliminate the influence you have with your staff or groups. The relationships you spent months or maybe years to build and foster are now in jeopardy.
Email and texting should never be a substitute for face to face communication or phone conversation. However, if crafted properly, these can be useful in reinforcing your ideas and increasing your influence.
In part 1 of my 3 part series, I provide 10 rules and etiquette for crafting and sending using emails.
I find these very useful and productive to lessen the chance of responding in a destructive or unprofessional manner.
When preparing or an email consider the following 10 suggestions:
- First, consider a face-to-face or phone call before sending an email.
- Send the email to those that absolutely need to know.
- “CC” people for information only. “CC” responses should only be sent if the data reinforce or add additional pertinent information.
- Make sure the “subject” accurately depicts the content.
- Content must be specifically related to your “TO” group. Be precise, concise, and clear.
- Begin the email with a positive statement. Sets the tone for the responses.
- Continued disagreement or confusion, set up an in person meeting, conference call or video chat.
- READ IT BEFORE YOU HIT SEND AND THEN READ IT AGAIN. Read and re-read your email. Make sure your grammar, spelling, and choice of words portray the intended tone and message.
- Emails should NEVER be used to reprimand, counsel or address disagreements.
- When in doubt…….have a face-to-face conversation.