4 Important Reasons Business People Use Email
April 16, 2014 1 Comment
While there are many tasks we accomplish more quickly because of email, there are also many challenges. If we don’t take care of what we write and the email tone we use, an email can become something similar to ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’. One email can have two opposite meanings depending on your point of view and the person reading it.
Therefore, to help you navigate this battlefield, the following is an outline of 4 Important Reasons Business People Use Email: they are:
- Request Information
- Share Information
- Respond To A Request
- Say Thank You
When you request information, make sure you get to the point quickly; don’t waste your readers time. Be polite, outline what information are you looking for and when you need the information.
Then, outline any variables that might impact your request for information; consider that there are likely things that are obvious to you but might not be obvious to them. It might help to provide background – like why or where you will use the information. But, be sure to only put this information after your request. When you are done writing – re-read one more time while you ‘listen‘ to the tone of your email. A harsh email tone is a quick way to put your request at the bottom of someones ‘To Do’ pile and for you to unintentionally make an enemy.
If you think your request is complicated and might have multiple variables then start with a phone call or face-to-face meeting to narrow your scope; then confirm your request as a matter of record.
Respond To Requests
When you respond to requests, be sure you get to the point. Like an Executive Brief, give the answer or information they need first and provide the supporting or background information later.
If there are choices to make based on multiple variables then email is not the best way; email is a very poor brainstorming tool. A 5 minute phone conversation can easily replace days and days of writing long email back and forth.
Please Be Careful; if you are like me it sometimes seems all I do is Respond To Requests (for me that is good because that usually means someone is asking for a training quote). But responding to requests can become boring – even frustrating which means we might inadvertently be a briefer than we would want to be.
If you are looking to share easy, straightforward information then an email is a great way to share information… but you have to make sure you are considering what your audience already does (or does not), know.
For example, if your audience is familiar with your topic then use acronyms… if they are not, acronyms may confuse them.
Just like with Respond To A Request, if there are choices that need to be made based on variables then email is not the best way. Take 5 minutes to have a conversation to discuss and finalize choices and options and then confirm your decision via email.
Say Thank You
Saying Thank You has become a bit controversial lately. A new concept is that this wastes people’s time and uses costly bandwidth and storage space. I have to think that Not getting a response can be more expensive…. Why?
When you receive a Thank You this gives you comfort that the person you sent the message to:
- Received it
- Opened it
- Understands it
Consider the cost and chaos if your message is somehow overlooked within the 100+ other email they receive and their long To Do list. An email Thank You is the quickest way to give the signal that all is OK; no need for conversation that might happen on the phone.
I also see a polite Thank You as a terrific Client Management / Client Relationship opportunity. Managing expectations by saying Thank You helps me build relationship and reduces the risk of hours and hours of last-minute trouble and overtime.
Conclusion to 4 Important Reasons Business People Use Email
Email is an easy and efficient way to communicate with co-workers, suppliers and clients. We can often communicate with more people in less time and in greater detail – adding files, video and hyper links to other websites. This makes guidelines on how your office uses email is important. Why? Because when a whole office uses email in a consistent manner that office will experience many benefits including:
- Increase productivity
- Improve employee and clients satisfaction
- Decrease errors
- Decrease tension, emergencies
Please go forth and Request, Respond and Share information and watch your email tone… and please consider saying Thank You every time.
Happy communicating and creating workplace harmony. Thank you!
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