Monday, May 11, 2009

The Art of Email

It seems like emailing has become the primary way to conduct business these days. Nobody calls each other, or walks over to their co-workers' desk. Simple one line messages are fired back and forth like lightning bolts containing easily misinterpreted information.

Sample Conversation

  • Tony: " Out of office, be back next week"
  • Megan: "Sorry Not sure maybe Tony"
  • Travis: "Cc: Megan see if she can"
  • Glen: "don't know, maybe on the website."
  • Travis: "Who idea was that? I need info ASAP"

Unfortunately, these types of conversations are very common even in the business world. Just because it sounds alright in your head, doesn't mean a readers will have a slightest clue of what you mean. A poorly written email can make even an educated professional look like a babbling 5 year old.

In emails, words are easily taken out of context, and can portray the wrong emotions. A misinterpreted message can quickly escalate office drama, and causing co-worker rivalry.

Think of an email like a formal letter. Try to write in complete sentences, and state whatever "it" is clearly. Write the messages so that even a complete stranger could understand it if necessary.

Too many important business decisions are fouled up everywhere due to the misinterpretation of emails. Do everyone a favor, and take the extra time to state exactly what you mean. Proof reading doesn't hurt either.

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