Texting, What Message are You Sending? Part 3 of 3

This is part 3 of 3 emails from my archives. Seems to be a constant need to re-publish these rules. I crafted this blog, not only because of my shortcomings but also my frustrations. In fact, I re-published all three blogs again because of my continued frustration. Do me a favor and read all three blog post and make adjustments in the way you craft and respond to email and texts. It will make the world a better place.

Texting is a convenient way to ineffectively communicate and lose the connection required for influence. Well, not always. Texting does have a place in communication, especially when the need is short and quick.  However, it has become the preferred method for long conversations or to communicate discipline, expectations and such. I actually had a CEO who preferred to terminate executive level professionals through a text. There was never any face to face interaction. Now that is wrong!

I believe face to face conversations are the most effective method of communication, however when the situation calls for texting, here are seven (8) texting principles I found to be very helpful:Fotosearch_k26085789

  1. Be careful with abbreviations. Texting is meant to be a fast form of communication, so we tend to use abbreviations and shortcuts such as “np” (no problem) or “u” (you). But there is such a thing as an inappropriate abbreviation and acronyms. Be careful!
  2. Watch your tone. Texting is a fast and easy way to communicate. Make sure you use words that set your intended, not perceived tone. Read it before you send it!
  3. Never send bad news via text. I had a CEO send a text to a VP threatening to fire him if he didn’t achieve positive results on a project. Two days later, the VP received a text from the CEO tellin g him he was terminated and where to turn in his vehicle and computer. I was shocked, guess he was scared of him. Keep texting positive or neutral. If there is a need for negative communication, schedule a face to face meeting, it’s the right thing to do.
  4. Don’t change meeting times or venues in a text.  However, you can confirm meeting times or places through text.
  5. Double check when using the voice-to-text feature.  The translation can be tricky. Especially;y with my mixed up Cajun accent.
  6. Don’t text during a meeting or presentation. This action is just rude!  Even if you are doing it under the table or behind a book, the presenter can tell.  As a speaker and trainer, it offends me when I see people looking at their phones. Pay attention!
  7. Darn, autocorrect!  This feature bites me often. Watch the auto correct feature.  An excellent way to fix this is to READ your text before you hit send.
  8. Don’t text and drive – This is a killer, literally. Did you know 35% of all vehicle fatalities involve texting and driving? Even people who text and drive, hate people who text and drive.

textingBy following these simple rules and abiding by proper etiquette, mastering the ability to craft and send valid emails and text can be an efficient easy and effective communication tool.

How we respond to emails and text can result in positive or negative consequences and determine our influence on others. Spend the effort and time to make sure your texts and emails reflect your intended message.

You Need to Read This! 10 rules and Etiquette for Crafting and Sending Emails. Part 1 of 3

This is part 1 of 3 emails from my archives. Seems to be a constant need to re-publish these rules.

You’ve been there.  You get an email accusing you of some action or lack thereof. 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 enrage your soul.

You immediately react by hitting “Reply All.”  In fact, you want to vindicate yourself, so you “Bcc” your supervisor. From the depths of your furious burning soul, 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 aggressive 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 email-logoyou have on your staff or groups. The relationships you spent months or even years to build and foster are now in jeopardy.

Email and texting should never be a substitute for face to face communication or a phone conversation. However, if crafted correctly, 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 emails.

I find these very useful and productive to lessen the chance of responding in a destructive or unprofessional manner.

EMAIL

When preparing or an email consider the following 10 rules:

  1. First, consider a face-to-face or phone call before sending an email. 
  2. Send the email to those that absolutely need to know.  
  3.  “CC” people for information only.  “CC” responses should only be sent if the data reinforce or add additional pertinent information.
  4. Make sure the “subject” accurately depicts the content.
  5. Content must be specifically related to your “TO” group. Be precise, concise, and clear.
  6. Begin the email with a positive statement. Sets the tone for the responses.
  7. Continued disagreement or confusion, set up an in-person meeting, conference call or video chat.
  8. 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.
  9. Emails should NEVER be used to reprimand, counsel or address disagreements. Those must be face to face.
  10. When in doubt…….have a face-to-face conversation.

What Message Are You Sending? 8 Principles for Sending Effective Text- Part 3 of 3

Here are seven (8) texting principles I found to be very helpful:Fotosearch_k26085789

  1. Be careful with abbreviations. Texting is meant to be a fast form of communication, so we tend to use abbreviations and shortcuts such as “np” (no problem) or “u” (you). But there is such a thing as an inappropriate abbreviation and acronym.
  2. Watch your tone. Texting is a fast and easy. Make sure you use words that set your intended, not perceived tone.
  3. Never send bad news via text. I had a CEO fire two VP’s via text. I was shocked. Guess he was scared of them. Keep texting positive or neutral.
  4. Don’t change meeting times or venues in a text.  However, you can confirm meeting times or places through text.
  5. Double check when using the voice-to-text feature.  The translation can be tricky.
  6. Don’t text during a meeting or presentation. This action is just rude!  Even if you are doing it under the table or behind a book, the presenter can tell.  As a speaker and trainer, it offends me when I see people looking at their phones.
  7. Darn, autocorrect!  This feature bites me often. Watch the auto correct feature.  An excellent way to fix this is to READ your text before you hit send.
  8. Don’t text and drive – This is a killer. 35% of all vehicle fatalities involve texting and driving. Even people who text and drive, hate people who text and drive.

textingBy following these simple rules and abiding by proper etiquette, mastering the ability to craft and send valid emails and text can be easy.   I crafted this blog, not only because of my shortcomings but also my frustrations.

How we respond to emails and text can result in positive or negative consequences and determine our influence on others. Spend the effort and time to make sure your texts and emails reflect your intended message.

What Message Are You Sending? PART 2 of 3 – 11 Rules and Etiquette for Crafting and Sending Effective Emails

raspberry-send-email-gmail-ssmtp

The way you craft or respond to an email determines the effectiveness of your words. That drives the intended outcome and creates the influence you desire.

When replying to emails, consider these ten (11) suggestions:

  1. Organize your words and paragraphs to make it easy for readers to follow and understand.
  2. Reflect on the email content before replying. Your leadership effectiveness is reflected in your response.
  3. Don’t automatically hit “Reply All.”  This should only be used when needed and with extreme caution.  You should only use “Reply All” when everyone on the “TO” list requires your response.  Most of the time, it is sufficient to only respond to the person who sent the email.
  4. Be Careful with the “Bcc.” The “Bcc:” option allows you to “blind carbon copy” someone on an email without any of the other recipients knowing. It can be useful in some cases when you wish to keep email addresses private.
  5. Avoid Cursing. Cursing in an email is just wrong. Don’t do it. Swearing in an email comes off as being ignorant or showing a lacking intelligence.
  6. Use proper grammar.  Don’t write like you speak. Remember, emails are forwarded all the time.
  7. Respond Regardless. Everyone would deserve a response, even if the email were mistakenly sent to you.  A simple, “I got your email,” or “I think this was addressed to me by mistake” will let the sender know you got the message.
  8. Be leery of tone. Each person interprets email tone differently.  A well-written email can easily be interpreted as a negative with the use of various words.  Many people use all caps. Doing this implies YOUR YELLING AT SOMEONE.
  9. Don’t Be Cute There is no room for cuteness or EMOJI’s, inappropriate pictures, etc.
  10. Include a professional signature. Include; your full name, title, work address and phone number.  When using a quote or image, be careful that it does not offend.
  11. Read it, then reread it. Read and re-read your email. Make sure your grammar, spelling, and choice of words portray the intended tone and message.

What Message Are You Sending? PART 1 of 3 – 10 Rules and Etiquette for Crafting and Sending Effective Emails

email 2You’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 email-logoyou 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.

EMAIL

When preparing or an email consider the following 10 suggestions:

  1. First, consider a face-to-face or phone call before sending an email. 
  2. Send the email to those that absolutely need to know.  
  3.  “CC” people for information only.  “CC” responses should only be sent if the data reinforce or add additional pertinent information.
  4. Make sure the “subject” accurately depicts the content.
  5. Content must be specifically related to your “TO” group. Be precise, concise, and clear.
  6. Begin the email with a positive statement. Sets the tone for the responses.
  7. Continued disagreement or confusion, set up an in person meeting, conference call or video chat.
  8. 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.
  9. Emails should NEVER be used to reprimand, counsel or address disagreements. 
  10. When in doubt…….have a face-to-face conversation.

AVOID SENDING THE WRONG MESSAGE, Email and Texting Etiquette for Leaders

Fotosearch_k5844859You’ve been there.  You get an email from a colleague that is accusatory or is downright rude and inappropriate.  The email is addressed to several people.  As you read the email, the words and letters begin to form sentences that spark enraged furry from deep down in your gut.  Your ears turn red and your blood pressure spikes.  How dare that so and so….!!!  You react with self-preservation and vigilance by hitting “Reply All”.  In fact, you decide your boss needs to see this, so you “Bcc” him/her.  Through your fit of rage, you unleash a barrage of words that belittle and berate the original sender.  You do it with a grimace and smirk along with the self-gratification the you will defend yourself and your position to the END and that NO ONE will ever question you again!!!  YOU WON!!!

Immediately, after hitting the send button, you receive a text from your boss.  Yes!  He wants to congratulate you on a great response!  Only when you open the text, it says “meet me in my office first thing in the morning.”  Well, you get the picture.

Is this the behavior and response you would expect from a leader?  I would hope not.  However, I see these types of emails and responses every single day.  And yes, I’ve been guilty of some of the harshest.

Email and texting are two of the greatest forms of communication since the invention of the telephone. They have increased productivity by huge percentages.  People are now connected 24/7.  We can email and text our thoughts and ideas anytime, anywhere.  However, email and texting have also been the worst inventions since the telephone.  Now people can email and text their thoughts and ideas anytime, anywhere.  Most of the time this is without any thought or discernment.  Email and texting have taken the place of face-to-face communication or a phone call.  It’s become the easy way out.  Well, that creates problems when connecting and building relationships.

Leaders must understand the role communication and relationships play in leadership.  In order to ultimately influence people and eventually lead them, we must ensure we continue to connect and build sincere relationships.  Emails and texting, perceived in the wrong way, can disconnect people and ruin relationships.

“Email and texting should never be a substitute for face to face communication or even a phone conversation.”

However, if crafted correctly, these tools can be very effective in re-inforcing your ideas, thoughts or desires.

Here are some rules and etiquette for using email and text.  These rules have become very useful and effective and tend to lessen the chance of responding in a destructive or unprofessional manner.

EMAIL

Fotosearch_k7573769When preparing or crafting an email consider the following thirteen (13) suggestions:

  1. First consider a face-to-face meeting or phone conversation before sending an email.  Especially if the subject and content is sensitive or could be wrongly interrupted.
  2. Send the email only to those that absolutely need to know the information.
  3. Only those addressed in the  “TO” field are required/expected to respond.
  4. Anyone addressed in the “CC” field are being included for “information only.”  “CC” those that may help reinforce your message or need.
  5. Those addressed in the “CC” field should not respond unless they have a compelling reason to reinforce the message or if they have additional information considered valuable to the group.
  6. Make sure the “subject” is an accurate depiction of content.  It should include any dates for deadlines, etc.
  7. Content must be specifically related to your “TO” group. Be specific and clearly communicate your desires, wants or actions.
  8. Always begin an email with a positive statement. The first 5-7 seconds of your email can determine the outcome.
  9. There should NEVER be more than two emails discussing the same subject. 
  10. If there is continued disagreement or confusion, you should set up an in person meeting, conference call or video chat.
  11. 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 portrays the intended tone and message.
  12. Emails should NEVER be used to reprimand, counsel or address disagreements. 
  13. When in doubt…….have a face-to-face conversation.

When replying to emails, consider these ten (10) suggestions:

  1. Read and reflect on the email content prior to replying. Your leadership effectiveness is reflected in your response.
  2. Don’t automatically hit “Reply All”.  This should only be used when needed, and with extreme caution.  You should only use “Reply All” when everyone on the “TO” list requires your response.  Most of the time, it is sufficient to only reply to the person who sent the email.
  3. Be Careful with the “Bcc”. The “Bcc:” option allows you to “blind carbon copy” someone on an email without any of the other recipients knowing. It’s useful in certain instances, such as when sending a message where you wish to keep email addresses private, or when you are requesting information from a group and want to get the responses. However, “Bcc’ing” can also backfire! The best “Bcc” rule of thumb: Never use it for sneaky or “I gotcha” reasons!
  4. Avoid Cursing. Cursing in an email is wrong, ALL the time and EVERY time!!!  End of story.  Don’t do it.  What if the email is forwarded? It can also be used as grounds for harassment and a hostile work environment.   What you write is there forever.  I don’t care what Hillary Clinton and the White House say.  Cursing in an email comes off as being ignorant or showing a lacking intelligence.
  5. Use proper grammar.  Don’t write like you speak, but instead like a professional.  Remember, emails are forwarded all the time.  A poorly written email going to the boss or the board can halt a career very quickly.
  6. Respond Regardless. Everyone deserves a response, even if the email was mistakenly sent to you.  A simple, “I got your email”, or “I think this was sent to me by mistake” will let the sender know they are on your radar.  Be smart and respond to those emails that suggest action, etc. Information only emails don’t necessarily require a response.
  7. Be leery of tone. Each person interprets email tone differently.  A well written email can easily be interpreted as a negative with the use of various words.  In addition, many people use all caps.  When you do this, it usually implies YOUR YELLING AT SOMEONE.  Unless that is your intention (which it shouldn’t), use *asterisks* around the word or words you want to highlight.
  8. No cuteness. There is no room in a professional email for cuteness or emotional acronyms.  No smiley faces, pink dogs, LOL, BTW
  9. Include a professional signature. Include a signature.  Your signature should include; your full name, title, work address and phone number.  When using a quote or image, be careful that it does not offend.  Keep everything professional and business appropriate.
  10. READ IT BEFORE YOU HIT SEND AND READ IT AGAIN. Read and re-read your email. Make sure your grammar, spelling and choice of words portray the intended tone and message.

TEXTING

Texting is easy.  In fact, I think it has become the preferred method of communication.  Co-workers are texting each other as they sit cubicle to cubicle.  Parents are texting children in the next room and, in some cases, from the dinner table to the media room.  Texting has become a connivence, it is faster, simpler and easier.  Even though the “phone” is a voice communication device, texting has become the preferred mode when using it.  It is the lazy way to communicate.

Texting is also gaining acceptance as a formal method of business communication. However, when you are texting for business, it is “imperative you always abide by a specific set of professional etiquette rules”, says career coach Barbara Pachter in her book “The Essentials Of Business Etiquette.”

Here are seven (7) texting principles I found to be very helpful:Fotosearch_k26085789

  1. Be careful with abbreviations. Texting is meant to be a fast form of communication, so we tend to use abbreviations and shortcuts such as “np” (no problem) or “u” (you). But there is such a thing as an inappropriate abbreviation. Use only shortcuts that are widely known or recognized. Ultimately, the safest route is to type out the entire word or phrase.
  2. Be aware of your tone. Texting is a fast and easy way to communicate.  Make sure you use words that set your intended, not perceived tone.  Avoid negative words such as failure, wrong or neglected.  Instead, use please and thank you.
  3. Never send bad news via text.  I had an employee resign via text.  I was shocked.  Needless to say, that bridge was burned.  Keep texting positive.
  4. Don’t change meeting times or venues in a text. Not all people live with their phones in their hands waiting for the ding or vibration.  If you change something and communicate via text, you may need to start without your party.  HOWEVER, you can confirm meeting times or venues through text.  Great way to get a headcount or confirm where you need to be.  Just do it early to give the recipient time to respond.
  5. Always double check when using the voice-to-text feature.  Smartphones allow you to speak your message, which the phone then converts to text.  But a lot can be lost in the translation. Make sure you what is showing as text, before you hit the send button.
  6. Don’t text during a meeting or presentation. This is just rude!  Even if you are doing it under the table or behind a book, the presenter can tell.  As a speaker and trainer, it offended me when I see people looking at their phones.
  7. Darn autocorrect!  This bites me often. Watch the auto correct feature.  A great way to beat this problem is to READ your text before you hit send.

By following these simple rules and abiding by proper etiquette, mastering the ability to craft and send effective emails and text can be easy.   I crafted this blog, not only because of my shortcomings, but due to the many frustrations I often feel when I see these not used.  As a student and teacher of leadership, I want to make sure I do everything possible to influence as many people as I can.  I realize how we respond to emails and text can result in positive or negative consequences.  I want to do everything in my power to keep it positive; I hope you will too.