At least 1 out of every 10 emails can cause my blood pressure to elevate. Perhaps I just have thin skin…but it seems like many of the items in my inbox are full of complaints, accusations, and just an overall bad attitude.
My first reaction is to “scold them”. My second reaction is to “correct them”. Sometimes, I have to work through an entire 24 hour period before I can find a good mental perspective like “I want to help them”. Here is what I know: I need to catch myself and prevent any response until I am clear that I am adding value…and not making things worse.
Here are just a few simple rules for sending email
- The best response is to talk to the person rather than sending an email. This is especially true if they work in the same office area!
- Never, never, never send an email when you are mad
- Double-check your distribution list.
- Only speak to those involved
- Do not copy anyone unless they need to be in the conversation
- Do not broadcast to everyone if you are speaking to one person
- Use email to convey factual info, not to debate or disagree. Sometimes, the subject line can deliver the entire message: (“Total cars at 6pm was 642”)
- Say what you have to say in as few words as possible
Seth Godin has another great email checklist here.
Thanks for listening.