In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few. 
- Zen Concept of Shoshin

Monday, August 20, 2007


XPLANE Culture Map
Originally uploaded by dgray_xplane
How do you use email? Me? After reading a few things looks like the wrong way.

I found this article through lifehacker. It informs about "ten situations when you should not use e-mail, even though you may be tempted to do so." It provides a link to a communicating and collaboration decision tree that the author made about communicating. It shows when to use email, instant messaging, and when to meet face 2 face.

I think the information in this article is great. I can definitely see the benefits from following these rules in a corporate setting, but it assumes that all participants have access to the different tools for communicating *and* they know how and when to use them. Should this communication tree be printed, laminated, and (be required) to be displayed in one's cubicle, office, work area?

Are there rules for using email? According to Merlin Mann there are definitely guidelines to writing an appropriate email message.

No thanks - I’m not married to this one, but I know a lot of people who swear by it. In more informal settings and in high-volume mail environments, it’s not necessary to respond with a “Thanks” email whenever someone does what you asked. Save your gratitude for the next time you pass in the hall; a one-word “Thanks” email can be crufty and unnecessary.

I admit that I am guilty of the "thanks" reply. But sometimes, depending on who your communicating with, I think the thanks email provides closure that would otherwise be lost. For example when I am kissing my bosses butt. And when I send these "crufty and unnecessary" emails to him it is OK, because he also sends them to me. Does that mean at times he is kissing my butt? Ponderous thought.

I have done some email training at my place of employment over the past ten years. When discussing messages I focus on email etiquette. I use a version of this list of rules for email etiquette when I compose an email.

There are many etiquette guides and many different etiquette rules. Some rules will differ according to the nature of your business and the corporate culture. Below we list what we consider as the 32 most important email etiquette rules that apply to nearly all companies.

32 most important email etiquette tips:

1. Be concise and to the point
2. Answer all questions, and pre-empt further questions
3. Use proper spelling, grammar & punctuation

I think these are pretty common sense, but the one that really gets me going is number ten. It should be number one. At least it is my number one pet peeve about email.

10. Do not write in CAPITALS.

IF YOU WRITE IN CAPITALS IT SEEMS AS IF YOU ARE SHOUTING. This can be highly annoying and might trigger an unwanted response in the form of a flame mail. Therefore, try not to send any email text in capitals.

So, I'll leave you with that for now...I NEED TO GO WRITE SOME LONG, WORDY EMAIL THANK YOU REPLIES.
Share This

No comments:

Blogger Templates Designed By Blogger Templates - DesignsRock
Content & Template Fine-Tuning by GITSUL Copyright John Lustig 2007-