I sit in front of my computer for an ungodly amount of hours a day. I do embrace the ease of communicating via email and text message. I am cautious as I can be not to take to human element out of dealing with others. There is no replacement for personal contact. The one thing that is widespread and often missing, in this wonderful instant message world is discretion and etiquette. My attention is not to offend anyone by this posting, just to educate. If I didn’t experience these things often and first hand I wouldn’t know about them to write about them.
1- Use common sense. If you do not have any, borrow someone else’s.
2- Email a thank you/ follow up or touch base to a client, potential employer, colleague, contact after meeting is always wise when maintaining a relationship.
3- Don’t over email! Business minded people appreciate good communication. Follow up is great. Emailing every 2 hours “Did you make a decision on the proposal?” is a bad choice.
4- Be the professional that you are. Don’t be cutesy! No Emoticon :) :(, abbreviations (LOL), pictures or backgrounds.
5- Don’t BCC.
6- Spell check. All too often I receive a muddled email from business associates that clearly didn’t reread what they wrote before sending. They just typed in a quick reply email and hit send.
I can safely assume that that majority of these preoccupied emails are because someone wrote me back from a Blackberry. To really make my point about mistyping/spelling from Blackberries being all to common issue, the company in which my husband works provides a high level of customer service and they discourage employees from replying via blackberry email with a clients.
7- DON’T CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING! It looks like you are shouting. I do have a bad habit of writing as I speak. I do my best to verify what I write so it will not be misconstrued.
Once I had a colleague respond to an email with a light, “Whatever.” I worked with him for many years, and didn’t think twice about the email. He meant it as “Whatever you want, I am on the same page.” However, he responded to “All” which copied my boss who only knows him as an acquaintance. My boss called me angry that this person would respond to my suggestion so inappropriately with “WHAT-EV-ER!” Kudos to my boss for getting clarification from me via phone. That could have ended badly for my colleague.
8- When you forward emails, to “all contacts” in your address book make sure you know who “all contacts” includes.
9- Do not forward jokes, political propaganda or spiritual enlightening chain emails, to anyone’s work email. More then once I have heard of someone almost losing and losing their job because of bad discretion.
My mother-in-law, out of all people sent me an email to work; She knows I don’t use my work email for personal use. In the subject line it read “Striper pole.” I almost had a heart attack. What in the world did she send me!? I neurotically forward it to my home email. When I opened it that evening it was a kitten hugging a red and white striped pole. She did it intentionally. Months later, she was still laughing at me.
10- If you decide to forward these ever so valuable “10 emailing rules when communicating for business” via email, go back and read # 1, 8 and 9 first, then proceed.
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