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Top tips from Mesmo Consultancy (and Associates) on how to save time and improve business and personal performance by ‘Taking Control of your Inbox’ and using proper business email etiquette.

Business Email Management and Etiquette – Articles of Note March 2017

Monday March 20th, 2017, 5:56 pm

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

Wednesday March 8th, 2017, 5:16 pm

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.

CriterionMen and emailWomen and email
DeletingOftenHoarders keeping too much just in case
Subject lineLimitedMore accurate
SalutationOften noneNearly always included
ToneTerseFlowery
ContentShorter, crisper and to the pointRambling and often flowery
GossipOften – the main culprits email media disastersRarely
ImageryRarely included, but occasional includes text-speak emoticonsOften use stationary and ‘smiley’s’
Sign-offProfessional, bland but can be terseFlowery, 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 and mental health

Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:54 pm

Email addiction and mental health go hand in hand. Email addiction is a major cause of stress and hence poor mental health. There are plenty of organisations to help you cope with well documented sources of addiction such as alcohol and substance. But what of chronic email addiction and mental health?  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 such as email addiction?

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 dependent 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.  Tackling email addiction should be a key priority for every organisation and not just during mental health week.

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

Friday February 10th, 2017, 10:35 pm

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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January 2017 – Articles of Note

Wednesday January 18th, 2017, 9:50 pm

  1. Creating a very strong password – many people reported having their social media accounts hacked.  First, check what apps have access to your account and delete any you do not recognise.  Second and most crucial step is to change your password and make sure it’s really strong.Typewritter
  2. Email signature – what to include – this is a recurrent theme.  Most email signatures are far too long and contain too many images. Email correspondence is not the place to market either your business or yourself.  Keep the signature simple yet informative. This Quora post outlines what vital information to include and what to omit.
  3. Hashtag your email for easy searching – you can add a hidden hashtag to emails you search which can make it easier for you to find them.  This gem is thanks to Michael Einstein my fellow IORG board member.
  4. Oxford college apologises for sharing names of rejected applicants – this is perhaps the worst email fiasco for some time.  Hertford College sent an email to each reject with the list of all those who had been rejected!  A real case of send in haste and repent at leisure.
  5. Uncivil lawyers get personal …in all-staff email – yes even solicitors can forget the difference between Reply and Reply-All when airing personal grievances. Maybe not suprising their firm (King & Wood Mailesons)  is in administration but suspect the two key players (Tim Taylor and George Pinkham) might have difficulty finding new jobs after this email fiasco!

How can you safeguarding your organisation from the risks of such email fiascos? One easy way is to invite Mesmo Consultancy to run an email management and business email etiquette masterclass.

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