4 Reasons You Don’t Get What You Want When You Email.

Have you ever sent an email that has been misinterpreted? Have you ever asked someone to do something and instead they did:

  • Something very different from you expected
  • A lot less than you expected
  • A lot more than you expected

You don’t need me to tell you this is a large drain on time / resources; a drain that’s exponentially compounded because now you also have to follow-up and correct the situation with your customers and/or co-workers. What a brand nightmare. It’s like tying an anvil to resources throughout your company including customer service, employee satisfaction, productivity targets and of course your companies revenues.

You are not alone… and fortunately you can economically cut that anvil loose.

This waste of time and resources happens to most people… most companies… everywhere… and here are 4 good reasons why. Most people:

  1. Read email by skimming – hoping to find a nugget of information or an action item they can act on… quickly. In essence they speed read email.
  2. Write email based on our own perspective, knowledge and needs – not our audiences. This is a huge problem.
  3. Read their email through a ‘Preview Screen’. Studies have shown that close to 60% of people do this.
  4. Write and read almost all their email on a Smartphone or PAD which:
    • Restricts our ability to absorb information – especially long messages
    • Causes us to be very too brief when writing messages – see points one and two

Based on this, when you write an email a large number of your email will not be understood and / or acted upon as you wanted. Is this acceptable?  I say no. It isn’t for me. But if half of the problem is how people read your email, can you as the email writer help them understand so you get what you want? I say yes. You do have almost 100% control.

You Have Control.

You have the ability to manage the outcome so it works in your favour – and that means you make a very good impression and you get what you want:

  • When you want it
  • The way you want it
  • In less time (because you get your answer fast and correctly and with only one email)

If you’re managing people’s expectations and are considering your readers needs and environment, and using email etiquette techniques you can manage your readers expectations. You can help your reader understand your message so that you get what you want when you email. Trust me – that is something I know.

Imagine the amount of time lost if 10% of your email are not understood (received or read). Imagine the time it takes to send a follow-up email and to correct the situation. Imagine the impact it has on employee morale and customer satisfaction.

I’m serious – stop for a moment and think about how much is being lost across your job and across the company.

ConclusionDon’t let email be a drain on resources and productivity

Email communication doesn’t have to be a drain on time, resources or productivity is going to change – in fact pressures for all of us to do more with less time and fewer resources… even though this is causing individuals stress and company’s money in lost productivity and therefore ROI. We should be trying to do more with more… like the Apple Store. And in that case customers are lining up to buy their products.

Make sure that when you are writing email (or leaving voice messages), you don’t give away your power. You have control; don’t give away your ability to be relevant to your audience and therefore get what you want. The best way to satisfy your needs it to be careful to address the 4 reasons why your email are not understood.

As an email author it’s in your best interest to write in a way that will help you message be clearly – and easily understood so you meet your objectives. Your next goal when you communicate is to build relationships with your co-workers, customers and suppliers than your competitors.

Imagine work being easier. Imagine work being more productive.

Happy communicating.

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Bruce Mayhew Consulting facilitates courses including Email Etiquette, Managing Difficult Conversations, Multigenerational Training, Time Management and Mindfulness.

Find answers to your Professional Development questions / needs at brucemayhewconsulting.com.

Give us a call at 416 617 0462. We’ll listen.

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I’d enjoy reading your comments on this post.

About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

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