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Business Email Management and Etiquette – Articles of Note March 2017

Posted Monday March 20th, 2017, 5:56 pm by

This month is like a box of licorice allsorts with articles a range or articles on business email management and business email etiquette. They including, the business email etiquette of using the Out of Office Message, best business email etiquette for opening and closing emails, social media gives us more networking but are we any happier and a new report on mobile/flexible working. Read on.

  1. How to master the almost impossible etiquette of the Out of Office Message.  Do you feel annoyed when you receive an Out of Office message and conversely does your OOO annoy others? It seems that there is a whole psychology to what we say and how we use the OOO.
  2. Is it correct to use ‘Dear Sirs’ when emailing several people? Clearly it depends on the context. of the business email as discussed in this Quora post by Dr Seeley.
  3. Why close emails with ‘best regards’. Time and again in workshops the question is asked, what is the best email etiquette to close an email? Here are some suggestions from another of Monica’s Quora posts. Don’t forget you can benchmark your own business email etiquette here.
  4. How to add accents using an IoS device (ipda/iphone etc). Business emails sent from mobile devices still need to look professional. This email etiquette tip will help you when typing names and words with accents.
  5. Internet on BA flights cleared for take-off. Do you value to opportunity to disconnect when flying and do some blue sky thinking (excuse the pun).   Well that might be about to end for those flying BA. You will either have to be strong willed or change airlines!
  6. Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work. A new report from the International Labour Organisation is invaluable for those involved in mobile/flexible working programmes. Although, it’s long and not for the faint heart and with a short attention span.
  7. How the world became hocked on social media. Social media has expanded our networks but has it made us any happier? Whilst we are better informed and connected than ever before, we are no happier and in some less happy than the generation who had no social media. This article reviews three new books on the topic and is a must for any reader tasked with research in this area. Although one cannot help feeling it’s all been said before by Sherry Turkle’s ‘Reclaiming Conversation and in ‘Alone Together’.

Did you spot an article on business email management and etiquette which you can share to help us all reduce email overload?

 

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Emails from Venus or Mars

Posted Wednesday March 8th, 2017, 5:16 pm by

On International Women’s Day, it is timely to look at back at some research carried out by Mesmo Consultancy several years ago.

Not surprisingly, it showed that the differences between how men and women operate in business (and socially) carries over into how they communicate. For an in-depth review see Gender and Communication at Work edited by Mary Barrett and Marilyn Davidson and Managing in the Email Office by Monica Seeley and Gerard Hargreaves.

Meanwhile, here is a brief summary of the main difference.

Criterion Men and email Women and email
Deleting Often Hoarders keeping too much just in case
Subject line Limited More accurate
Salutation Often none Nearly always included
Tone Terse Flowery
Content Shorter, crisper and to the point Rambling and often flowery
Gossip Often – the main culprits email media disasters Rarely
Imagery Rarely included, but occasional includes text-speak emoticons Often use stationary and ‘smiley’s’
Sign-off Professional, bland but can be terse Flowery, often uses colour and fancy fonts

What as changed. Judging by the many emails I see, very little.

For more information and especially how to bridge the gap see first published in Brilliant Email.

 

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Email addiction – culture or a mental health problem

Posted Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:54 pm by

Mental health has figured significantly in the media (social and traditional) over the past few weeks. Addiction is often linked to mental health. The most obvious forms being substance, alcohol, gambling and smoking. There are plenty of organisations to help you cope with well documented sources of addiction.

However, what of the hidden addictions like email addiction? Compulsive checking of emails is often hidden behind phrases like ‘my clients/colleagues expect me to be on-line’, ‘it’s part of my job’, ‘what if I miss an email from a key contact’. Are these reasons justified or just a cover up for deeper problems?

We all have extraordinarily busy periods when it can be prudent to check your email frequently and outside normal office hours (eg year end, major project closing, takeover bid etc). For more normal days, what does checking your email every few minutes really tell us?

Maybe you work in an email depend and culture where people rarely walk and talk. Maybe you feel insecure, anxious or lonely. In that case it is symptomatic of a mental health problem.

At a personal level click here to check your level of email-addiction. Then use the top tips below to start breaking the cycle.

  1. Switch off all those new email alerts. Click here to see how to still see emails from key clients.
  2. Limit the number of times you check your email, for example every 30 minutes. Then gradually extend that gap by 10 minutes each week until you reach a more realistic no-email period for your role eg one hour.
  3. Fine yourself if you dip-in between the no-email periods.
  4. Celebrate every time you reach you target time with no dips.
  5. Tell people what you are doing and provide them with an incentive to talk to you instead of using email.

Still addicted, then seek more help. We can help with email addiction.  For the mental health aspects talk to a specialist.

If you work in an email dependent culture then perhaps it is time to make colleagues aware and especially the potential cost to their well-being and mental health.

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Articles of Note on Email Overload & Email Etiquette – February 2017

Posted Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:35 pm by

Hacked emails accounts reveal potentially damaging emails and some off the wall tips on dealing with people who expect an instant response to their emails. Articles of not this month touch on the need to maintain appropriate email etiquette regardless of who you are and whether using a business or personal account.

  1.  David Beckham has given up hope of a knighthood in the near future. David Beckham’s personal email account was hacked and revealed email exchanges venting his anger at not being given a knighthood. They also revealed highly sensitive information about his tax affairs – one reason maybe for no knighthood.
  2. Barclays lied over £73bn cash call emails. A classic case of using your personal email account for very sensitive business matters. The court has still demanded that all these emails are handed over as evidence.Yet again these emails highlight the point that the only control you have over an email is when you choose to send it. After that you have no control over where it goes. Maybe we need to be exercising more control over hitting send in the first place.
  3. Email to gain attention without being pushy. It is not uncommon to receive 100 emails a day and have 2,000+ unread emails in your inbox.’ An extract from Dr Seeley’s latest book Taking Control of Your Inbox. This article focuses on just how to make your email stand out in an already bulging inbox without appearing rude or arrogant.
  4. In a culture that calls for instantaneous responses. This is a prevalent culture wherever you work – private or public sector, charities or academia. Indeed one school academic said you were expected to be a clairvoyant and guess what the parent was writing even before they hit send! Here are some off the wall but nonetheless effective tips. We especially like the DND email.

Do you want to reduce the risk of being the subject of an email fiasco?  Talk to us about how our email best workshops and coaching can help.

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10th International Clean Inbox Week – Day 5 – Keeping a Clean Inbox

Posted Thursday January 26th, 2017, 10:41 pm by

Day 5 – Pulling It All Together

Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times. Niccolo Machiavelli

Email overload is stressful and can also be an underlying cause of mental health issues.  Hopefully  you have reduced the email overload, have a clean inbox and improved your productivity and well-being.

Cleaninbox2

Now the trick is to keep your inbox under control and encourage others to follow suit.

Email addiction is one of the major causes of email overload. It’s the feeling that you must constantly check your inbox no matter where you are, what you are doing or what the time of day.  Moreover, we often default to email when of course there are a myriad of other ways to communicate. As many of you will know I am a great fan of pen and paper especially for saying thank you and taking ownership when being asked to do something rather than retorting with ‘send me an email’.

Day five is about taking stock, checking you are not suffering from email addiction and making plans to keep your inbox out of the email overload zone.  Here is our three step plan for the last day.

Step 1  – Check your level of email addiction

Use Mesmo Consultancy’s free Email Addiction self-assessment tool.  Identify your strengths and weaknesses and if necessary seek advice about how to control the urge to have another email fix.

In the coming days and weeks as you are about either to Reply/Forward or even ‘Send’ pause and ask yourself would an alternative be more efficient (eg talking, a discussion group on something like SharePoint, instant message etc)?

Step 2 – Review your action plan and goals

Look back to Day 1 and how much time you were losing. Now re-calibrate using our Cost of Email Misuse Calculator.  Where do you still need to make some changes?

Step 3 – Moving forward

How will you keep your inbox slim and control the email overload in the coming weeks?  Don’t let email rule your day.  Don’t feel you must check your email either first thing in the morning or every five minutes.  Rather try disconnect from time to time. The most productive people are those who prioritise their time and stay focused on the task in hand.

Do you have colleagues who would benefit from managing their email more effectively as you have now done?  Yes, then call  us now to ask about our Brilliant Email Management master classes. Otherwise how about giving them a copy of either ‘Brilliant Email’ or ‘Taking Control of Your Inbox’?secretary1Brilliant Email

Celebrate – Dare to share

Share your progress; EmailFacebookTwitter  (using #cleaninbox)  There is a prize (a copy of ‘Brilliant Email‘) for the person who has made the most outstanding progress.  For instance, had five days of empty inboxes, reduced the number of rounds of email ping-pong by improving their email etiquette etc.

For  more resource

Twitter_logo_blueFollow me on Twitter using #cleaninbox.

Facebook-Buttons-1-10-Join our Facebook page.

Thank you for joining us for this the 10th International Clean Out Your Inbox Week.  Feedback on how we can improve this event for next year is always appreciated.

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