The Importance of Effective Communication
Over the past several months, I’ve seen examples of both good and bad email communication and come to appreciate how detrimental poor communication can be. As a result, a few dos and don’ts for communicating effectively via email :
- Do not forward an email without comment unless you are absolutely certain that the recipient will know what to do with it. This is often done as a time-saving measure by those who are too busy to deal with all the email they receive, but unless the recipient in fact knows what to do with the email, you’re wasting more time rather than saving time as two or three additional emails will probably need to be sent for everyone to get on the same page. If you want the recipient to take some action based on the forwarded email, ensure that it is clear what that action should be.
- Do try to read and understand the entire email before responding. Skimming an email is another tactic used by those who are too busy, but again it usually will result in more lost time than saved time. You may miss important information that was conveyed or ask questions that were already answered. In both cases, the result will often be additional unnecessary email that takes up more of everyone’s time.
- When sending an email to multiple recipients, spend some time thinking about who all should be an addressee; don’t just throw names on to cover your bases. When responding to an email with multiple recipients, think about whether you should use Reply or Reply All.
- When initiating a conversation that will likely entail some rapid back and forth, consider using chat, phone, or some other communication tool. Email is ill-suited for conversations consisting of several 5-10 word responses.
- Keep emails to a reasonable length and use bullet points or lists to summarize key points or questions.
- Be careful of tone in your email. Sarcasm or comments made tongue-in-cheek are not usually conveyed via email and the tone of your message may come off differently than you intended.
- After typing an email, take a few moments to read over what you’ve typed before sending.
By following a few simple steps, your email communication skills can improve drastically, boosting the productivity of yourself and those with whom you communicate.- See more at: http://www.io-dev.com/blog/august-2012/the-importance-of-effective-communication#sthash.XPwEpcGT.dpuf