COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY WITH E-MAIL
Over the past five years or so I have watched my clients continue to struggle to use e-mail effectively and I have become increasingly fascinated with this method of communication. I have spent hours and hours sitting with clients helping them regain control of their time at the office by learning techniques and systems for managing and organizing e-mail but it seems that more and more we are still struggling with getting the point across effectively and efficiently.
Studies have shown that over 70% of critical business information is now being exchanged through e-mail. One key to success for businesses, in my opinion, is developing a formal E-mail Policy. A company needs to implement e-mail etiquette rules for three reasons:
- Professionalism – using proper language will convey a professional image
- Efficiency – e-mail messages that get to the point are much more effective
- Protection from Liability – employee awareness of e-mail risks will protect your company
The way you use e-mail to communicate is as much a part of your professional image as the clothes you wear, the greeting on your voicemail and the handshake you offer. Choosing wisely when to use e-mail as your method of communication versus the telephone or in-person communication is absolutely imperative.
Here are some basic e-mail etiquette rules to get your started:
- Don’t substitute e-mailf or one-on-one leader communication
- E-mail doesn’t take the place of productive team meetings
- Never deliver a negative message by e-mail
- Live by the 24-hour rule when upset
- Be more polite than when you speak
- Write every e-mail for your boss’ eyes