Showing items tagged with "email etiquette" - 62 found.

Email overload – getting people to respond

Posted Tuesday August 23rd, 2011, 9:30 am by

Getting people to respond to urgent emails can be difficult.  Why?  Last week Stewart Hirsh of the Trusted Advisor posted a thought provoking post on why do people not respond to emails – Action Required: Read my email please!

Thought I’d would share the five tips I posted in response.

1.  In the subject-line add the words ‘Action needed by (eg Noon 28 August 2011).

2.  Create an image of yourself as a trusted person so that when the recipient sees an email from you they know it serious and needs attention.  That means avoiding sending frivolous emails like jokes etc.

3. Many people don’t open emails from PAs.  Sad I know, but in the UK this happens.  If you do use a PA/Assistant, make sure even if they prepare the email, that it comes from your mailbox.

4.   Call then a few days/hours latter (depending on the urgency).

5.  Give up conventional emailing and either resort to the phone only or use social media if they are on it eg LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter. Interestingly some people will ignore ordinary email but respond to messages sent via social media.

What are your tips?

Tags: ,

Read this post... | 1 comment

Email etiquette for the vacation period

Posted Tuesday July 26th, 2011, 2:30 pm by

What is good email etiquette for the vacation period?  After all there is nothing more annoying than coming back to an inbox full of trivial messages and multiple messages from the same person.  Here are a few guidelines to win friends and not make enemies of those on vacation.

1) Stop sending people on leave emails. Start making a note of what you planned to say in an email and gather all your thoughts together in one document.  Then on their return either send it or talk them through the matters.

2) For emails with a shelf-life add an ‘expiry date’ for example,  all the trivial but timely messages like, the server will be down for maintenance this weekend, the sandwich man is in reception.

3) When sending messages which are sensitive/confidential put the words ‘confidential’ in the subject and make sure the recipient has a rule in place to send these directly to a folder.  After all you never know who might be managing that person’s box in their absence.

4) If you do ask someone to monitor your inbox whilst you are away take time to agree how they will handle your email and how they will indicate which ones have been dealt with and which still need attention. 

5) This is a good time to adopt an email free period.  Take an afternoon off from your inbox and walk and talk a little more.

These tips on email etiquette for the holiday period will help you save time to both as a sender and recipient.  They will also help everyone reduce the email overload feeling which we all experience on returning from leave.

What are your tips?

Tags: , ,

Read this post... | 1 comment

Email etiquette and the mother in-law who reprimands her future daughter in-law by email

Posted Monday July 11th, 2011, 9:30 am by

Email etiquette – is it right to reprimand your future daughter in-law by email as in the latest email media  disaster?  In my opinion no on two accounts.

First, it was the wrong communications channel.  Such messages should always be communicated by talking (whether they relate either to personal or work matters).  Once you put something like this in an email and hit send you put down a marker which cannot be erased.  Barriers are created and the tone of the relationship set.  There is no such thing as ‘recalling’ an email because even if it was sent back the chances are the recipient read it before it was returned.  This was very poor email etiquette.

Second, to me the content was rude, arrogant and dismissive.  All of which creates as the media said the image of a ‘mother in-law from hell’.  Is that how she wanted to be portrayed?

This underscores just how quickly and easily such emails go viral and create an email disaster.  If the future mother in-law really could not bring herself to speak to her future daughter in-law an alternative would be a letter.  This would not have gone viral quite so easily. 

There is now a follow-up story which suggests it was all a publicity stunt to promote their business.  However, this too represents appalling behaviour and creates a very unprofessional image.  Furthermore such email hoaxes just drive up the email carbon footprint.

Good email etiquette is one of the keys to relationships between both individuals and businesses.

In my opinion this was the wrong use of email on all accounts.  What’s your opinion?

Tags: , ,

Read this post... | 1 comment

Email etiquette – managing sender’s expectations

Posted Monday June 13th, 2011, 10:30 am by

Brilliant email etiquette implies that we acknowledge emails within an acceptable time frame (at least those which need an answer).  For those emails which you know a substantive and proper reply is needed than plan the necessary work into your work schedule.  They key is to manage their expectation whilst not putting undue pressure on yourself.  Decide when you can reasonably make a proper reply and let the recipient know.

Simply tell them when you will reply but don’t add a line saying ‘ is this OK’.  First, this leaves the door open for the sender to change your priorities.  They will soon say if it’s not OK.  Second, its asking for at least another round of unnecessary email ping-pong as the sender says ‘OK’ and you feel compelled to email back again.

Once you’ve acknowledged the email and planned when to deal with it make sure you keep track of the actions you need to take and also the email itself.  You gaol should be to handle each email once and not have to keep looking for those ones which still need attention.

Implement a process which enable you to find it easily.  For example, file it, place it in a pending folder or create a task from it.  Choose a way which suites your way of working and managing your day.

Tags: , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post

Email etiquette – provide time for the recipient

Posted Monday June 6th, 2011, 9:30 am by

Provide time for the recipient is the eighth principle of my Nine Ps of Smart Email Management charter.  Yet how often do we plan ahead and think about the recipient of our email?  One of the commonest stressors cited by workshop participants is ‘the sender never leaves me sufficient time’ for a proper, well thought out reply.

Yet it’s interesting that when asked to compare how quickly a reply is expected, most delegates say internal emailers expect an instant reply whilst customer’s and client’s time fame is often far less demanding.  In one organisation, senior managers said they were often very surprised at how quickly junior members of their team replied to their emails.  When was the last time email response time formed the subject of a management team discussion?

Some email etiquette quick wins to reducing the pressure on people are:

  1. Estimate how long it will take you to do the task.  That’s how long you need to leave the recipient.
  2. Check people’s calendar and plan ahead and around their schedules, for example when working on joint documents, presentations etc.  Talk and agree a realistic timescale before emailing.
  3. If it’s a regular request, create for yourself a recurring task well ahead of schedule (eg you need a month end-report).

If we are to chip away at this current debilitating culture of multitasking and feeling that everything needs our immediate attention, then email response times need to be discussed and a workable service level (response time) agreed.

This week’s email etiquette tips are on managing the response time.

Tags: , ,

Read this post... | Comment on this post