One of our firm's partners who specializes in Advisory, Best
Practices, LBO, and Government Relations has offered to chime in and post about
email etiquette. This is the first time I've received this offer from within
our firm, and I'm happy to consider extending this invitation to all of our
partners. Thus we are starting this new series of posts for my business
etiquette series about email etiquette. You may recall in my first business
etiquette posting, I argued that about 99% of people in the world do not do
business like I do. I feel the same regarding email communication. I hope you
enjoy my partner's post (within quotes).
"Good business is predicated on clear and effective communication and email is the primary mode by which business is conducted. Yet corporations, government agencies and educational institutions stand on the sidelines and do little to train workers and students on the fundamentals of email etiquette. CEO's, Cabinet officials and University President's should take heed - effective communication makes money, solidifies policy and equips students with real-life professional tools.
The facts are staggering: 40 billion person-to-person emails are exchanged per day and 30 percent of a workday is spent creating, reading, and responding to messages for the AVERAGE email user. As Nora Ephron noted, "...email is life altering. It's shorthand. Cut to the chase. Get to the point. It takes five seconds to accomplish in an email message something that takes five minutes on the telephone." In other words, email is the efficient de-humanizer. You can run a business from a Blackberry while lounging in the
Part II of this series will drill into the fundamental principles of email etiquette. Before we get there, let me ask you a few questions in order to take your email pulse:
* How much time do you waste
decoding a poorly written email?
* How often are you unnecessarily copied on an email message?
* How often do you use email to say one or two words, such as "ok" or "thank you?"
* How often do you proofread an email before sending it?
* How often do you receive an email with an attachment but no text in the email body?
Is your pulse admitting guilt? I bet. It's common to experience these scenarios, especially staring at the screen to decipher an unintelligible email. I suspect it happens to you multiple times a week. I call it the lost in translation look, like the one experienced by Bill Murray while he sits on a Tokyo hotel bed in Sofia Coppola's thoughtful film Lost in Translation - click https://www.lost-in-translation.com/ to see the image.
mid-life angst, anxiety and earnest efforts to navigate the uniqueness of
Japanese culture often gave him pause. Similarly, the current email divide
should cause reflection since the development of email tools is outpacing our
ability to use them effectively.