Effective email communication


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  • http://www.easycommunication.info/characteristics-of-effective-communication
  • Unknown exact name or nature of survey
  • Unknown survey
  • Don’t cause more questions!
  • 1.Save the whole story. Stick to the facts. Reminder: E-mail is easily forwarded and cannot be considered private. Choose an appropriate greeting and closing. Greetings establish a relationship with your reader. Closings indicate the end of the message and summarize key points. Use personal pronouns. Address your reader directly = you. Refer to yourself and your organization = I and we. Write in the active voice. Active voice makes your e-mail tone clearer and more direct. Active voice also makes the "doer" in the sentence clear. Order information to maintain a professional tone. The beginning of an e-mail message sets the tone and emphasizes the message’s content. Set a direct tone by communicating the most important information first.
  • Note: Most business writing falls somewhere between informal and formal style.
  • Tactfulness means treating the reader with respect, being concerned about and considerate of the reader’s feelings. It is basically exercising good manners.
  • “ I suggest…” instead of “It would seem to me that we might…”
  • Effective email communication

    1. 1. Efficient, Effective E-mail Communication Karen Eckberg November 2011
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Effective EMAIL communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MUSTs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>DOs and DON’Ts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ways to organize your EMAIL </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identifying 2 or 3 practices YOU’LL make </li></ul>
    3. 3. Definition (American Heritage) Com·mu·ni·ca·tion (noun) <ul><li>the act or process of communicating;  fact of being communicated. </li></ul><ul><li>the imparting or interchange of thoughts,  opinions, or information by speech,  writing, or signs. </li></ul><ul><li>something imparted, interchanged,  or transmitted. </li></ul><ul><li>document or message imparting news, views, information, etc. </li></ul>
    4. 4. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION <ul><li>“ Communication takes place when one person transfers some understandable data to another person.” </li></ul>
    5. 5. Real-life / typical day analysis <ul><li>How do you communicate with… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colleagues? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supervisors? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partners? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clients? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do you have a preferred way of communicating? </li></ul>
    6. 6. Communication preferences <ul><li>Face-to-face </li></ul><ul><li>Phone </li></ul><ul><li>Business Letter or Print Memo </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul>
    7. 7. Carnegie Mellon Study <ul><li>Receive 30-50 e-mails per day </li></ul><ul><li>Immediately delete 29% </li></ul><ul><li>Check e-mail 12 times per day </li></ul><ul><li>Spend 2+ hrs . reading and responding to e-mail </li></ul><ul><li>Keep 187 e-mails in their inbox (Some in study with over 500!) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Survey of Business Executives
    9. 9. Survey of MEGTEC as of November 15, 2011
    10. 10. E-mail advantages <ul><li>Fast </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to use </li></ul><ul><li>Digital (saves paper) </li></ul><ul><li>Expands a businesses’ capability to communicate with their customers </li></ul>
    11. 11. E-mail disadvantages <ul><li>Digital divide </li></ul><ul><li>For legal reasons, some people need original hard copies on letterhead stationary, complete with signatures. </li></ul><ul><li>Some still PRINT emails </li></ul><ul><li>Not all email formats are made alike </li></ul>
    12. 12. IF WE ARE GOING TO USE EMAILS AS OUR MAIN METHOD OF COMMUNICATION… <ul><li>… Let’s make sure the emails we do write are effective means of communication. </li></ul>
    13. 13. We want to … <ul><li>Increase personal efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Improve individual and corporate professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Protect yourself and your organization from potential liability issues </li></ul>
    14. 14. We want to … <ul><li>4. Create e-mails that will… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>be read by the receiver. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>be understood by the receiver. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>engage the receiver to achieve the intended purpose. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>not require too much time on the part of the receiver. </li></ul></ul>
    15. 15. Personal Ethics <ul><li>As a communicator it is your responsibility to be: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Honest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accurate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessible </li></ul></ul>
    16. 16. “ Every instance of workplace writing occurs for a specific reason and is intended for a particular individual or group... Although this may seem obvious, awareness of purpose, audience, and tone is the single most crucial factor in determining whether your communication will succeed.” - George Searles   Understanding the Writing Situation
    17. 17. Three Main Principles <ul><li>Purpose </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul>
    18. 18. Purpose <ul><li>Overall design that governs what writers do in their writing. </li></ul><ul><li>Reason why a writer will even sit down to type an e-mail. </li></ul><ul><li>Specific subject and strategies writer uses to communicate the subject most effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>Should direct and control all the decisions a writer makes. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Types of E-mail <ul><li>Self Fulfilling </li></ul><ul><li>Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Open-Ended Dialog </li></ul><ul><li>Action </li></ul>
    20. 20. Self-Fulfilling <ul><li>You tell the receiver something. </li></ul><ul><li>There is no reply. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Daughter is sick and will be out of the office for the rest of the day. </li></ul>
    21. 21. Inquiry <ul><li>You need something from the receiver. </li></ul><ul><li>The reply is the desired outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Request of colleague as to whether they achieved proper permissions to move ahead on project from marketing. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Open-Ended Dialog <ul><li>You want to keep communication lines open for future purposes. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Working schedule about a new procedure or process. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Action <ul><li>The goal is action on the part of the receiver, not a reply. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Complete a particular form for HR and send if you want to be a part of a new wellness program. </li></ul>
    24. 24. Audience <ul><ul><li>“ Thoughtful and effective communication requires a sensitive understanding of an audience since the knowledge level and expectations of those who need information can vary widely.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>- Nell Ann Pickett </li></ul>
    25. 25. Types of Audience Category of Audience Characteristics Experts <ul><li>Advanced knowledge and skills. Handle theory and practical application with ease. </li></ul>Technicians <ul><li>Understand technical information. </li></ul><ul><li>Handle practical application with ease </li></ul>Professionals <ul><li>Are educated to read and understand information. </li></ul><ul><li>No practical application experience </li></ul>Lay <ul><li>No specialized education. </li></ul><ul><li>Not motivated to read information in entirety. </li></ul>
    26. 26. Levels of Workplace Communication Category of Communication Definition Upward <ul><li>Intended for those above you in the workplace </li></ul>Lateral <ul><li>Intended for those at your own level in the workplace </li></ul>Downward <ul><li>Intended for those below you in the workplace </li></ul>Outward <ul><li>Intended for those outside your workplace </li></ul>
    27. 27. Audience Tendencies <ul><li>We answer the e-mails that are the fastest to answer and process </li></ul><ul><li>Our natural reaction is to close long e-mails and come back to them. </li></ul><ul><li>When we receive an e-mail asking something of us, we become guarded and ask “why should I care?” </li></ul>
    28. 28. Audience perception <ul><li>Think of perception as a you read emails from: </li></ul><ul><li>Your supervisor </li></ul><ul><li>Your colleague </li></ul><ul><li>Your client </li></ul><ul><li>Your family member </li></ul>
    29. 29. Tone <ul><li>Tone indicates your attitude as a writer toward the subject and the audience. </li></ul><ul><li>It is what you say and how you say it. </li></ul><ul><li>Inappropriate tone can cause your reader to ignore, delete, misinterpret, or overreact to your message. </li></ul>
    30. 30. Setting the Right Tone <ul><li>Use words carefully. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose an appropriate greeting and closing. </li></ul><ul><li>Use personal pronouns. </li></ul><ul><li>Write in the active voice. </li></ul><ul><li>Order information to maintain a professional tone. </li></ul>
    31. 31. Three Levels of Style – decides TONE <ul><li>Informal Style </li></ul><ul><li>Semiformal Style </li></ul><ul><li>Formal Style </li></ul>
    32. 32. Practical Applications <ul><li>Writer vs. Reader Centered Tone </li></ul><ul><li>Negative vs. Positive Wording </li></ul><ul><li>Tact </li></ul>
    33. 33. IDENTIFYING ISSUES IN AN EMAIL <ul><li>Exercise on page 6. </li></ul>
    34. 34. Guidelines for Writing Effective E-mails <ul><ul><li>“ E-mail etiquette asks you to put your reader’s needs first, especially when you want the other person to do something for you.” </li></ul></ul>“ Most people know roughly what they want, but do not take time to clearly think it through. This is how we end up with rambling email … our thoughts are disorganized, and we can easily confuse the reader.”
    35. 35. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>Begin with the end in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Write a meaningful subject line. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify yourself clearly as if it were a face to face introduction. </li></ul><ul><li>Be concise and to the point. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid attaching unnecessary files. </li></ul><ul><li>In most cases, do not leave out message threads. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume privacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Respond promptly </li></ul><ul><li>Show respect and restraint </li></ul><ul><li>Read your e-mail before you send </li></ul>
    36. 36. What is the PURPOSE of the email? <ul><li>Going back to the PURPOSE, what is the PURPOSE of your email? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Response? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FYI? </li></ul></ul>
    37. 37. Meaningful Subject Lines <ul><li>DO </li></ul><ul><li>“ Department Meeting is cancelled” </li></ul><ul><li>“ 25 confirmed…larger room?” </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Leave the subject line blank </li></ul><ul><li>“ Important! Read NOW!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Quick Question” </li></ul>
    38. 38. Vague subject terms to avoid <ul><li>Hello  </li></ul><ul><li>Hey  </li></ul><ul><li>How are you?  </li></ul><ul><li>Check this out!  </li></ul><ul><li>Hmmm...  </li></ul><ul><li>Question  </li></ul><ul><li>Yes  </li></ul><ul><li>No  </li></ul><ul><li>Yo  </li></ul><ul><li>A few thoughts  </li></ul><ul><li>Thought of you </li></ul>
    39. 39. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>3. Identify yourself clearly as if it were a face to face introduction. </li></ul><ul><li>When contacting someone, especially for the first time, always include your </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Name and Position </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose for Contact </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact Information </li></ul></ul>
    40. 40. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>4. Be concise and to the point. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let your receivers know right away what you want or need from them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make it clear what action you expect from them. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If no action is expected, state “No reply necessary.” </li></ul></ul>
    41. 41. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>5. Avoid attaching unnecessary files. You want to limit the steps necessary for your receiver to act on your message. </li></ul>
    42. 42. Attachments Require <ul><li>Time to download </li></ul><ul><li>Space on the receiver’s computer </li></ul><ul><li>Complementary software on the receiver’s computer. </li></ul>
    43. 43. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>6. In most cases, do not leave out message threads. </li></ul><ul><li>Receivers read multiple e-mails every day and cannot possibly remember what every e-mail was about. Deleting threads causes the receiver to spend extra time looking for the original message to reference. </li></ul>
    44. 44. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>7. Don’t assume privacy. E-mail is not secure. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Praise in public, but criticize in private. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not use e-mail to discuss confidential information </li></ul></ul>
    45. 45. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>8. Respond promptly </li></ul><ul><li>Give the appearance of always being available to your online correspondents even if you can’t help them right away. </li></ul>
    46. 46. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>9. Show respect and restraint </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forward or copy a message without the permission of the original sender. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forward chain letters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t overuse reply to all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t send e-mail with offensive, racist, or obscene remarks </li></ul></ul>
    47. 47. Writing Effective E-mails <ul><li>10. Read your e-mail before you send it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Errors in grammar and mechanics cause your receiver to question your authority and professionalism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure all questions have been asked or answered and further questions preempted. </li></ul></ul>
    49. 49. Concise E-mail: Do <ul><li>Number or bullet key points </li></ul><ul><li>Use active voice and tone </li></ul><ul><li>Divide substantial points into separate messages so your receiver can respond to them individually </li></ul>
    50. 50. Concise E-mail: Do <ul><li>Write in plain English </li></ul><ul><li>Use standard grammar, spelling & punctuation </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid long sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Use proper structure and layout </li></ul>
    51. 51. Concise E-mail: Don’t <ul><li>Write in all CAPITALS </li></ul><ul><li>Use distracting typefaces </li></ul><ul><li>Use text messaging abbreviations </li></ul><ul><li>Plain text … don’t assume HTML </li></ul>
    52. 52. Brevity is key! <ul><li>Remember who your audience is. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose simple words. </li></ul><ul><li>Be polite and clear. </li></ul><ul><li>Make your message brief and direct by deleting redundant words. </li></ul><ul><li>Choose strong, active verbs. </li></ul><ul><li>Concise writing equals effective communication. </li></ul>
    53. 53. REVISION EXERCISE PAGE 10 <ul><li>Netiquette: “Network etiquette” for common rules in the communication medium of emails. </li></ul>
    54. 54. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>1. Schedule a regular time to read, organize, and respond to your emails. </li></ul>
    55. 55. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>2. Use the “Four D’s for Decision Making” Model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Delete it (29%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do it (2 minutes or less) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Delegate it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defer it </li></ul></ul>
    56. 56. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>3. Distinguish between reference and action information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference: Not required to complete an action but should be filed for later use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action: Required to complete an action </li></ul></ul>
    57. 57. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>4. Find a system for organization and stick with it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Filters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Folders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Functions </li></ul></ul>
    58. 58. Using Folders <ul><li>Keep it Simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Today/This Week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference/Action </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Payroll </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pending or Follow-up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Classes </li></ul></ul>
    59. 61. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>5. Pick up the phone or meet face-to-face. </li></ul><ul><li>If your situation is going to take multiple e-mails to resolve, call or meet instead of e-mail. </li></ul>
    60. 62. Managing Your Inbox <ul><li>6. Separate personal from work. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give friends and family a separate e-mail address and keep your work e-mail strictly for business. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t send subscription e-mails to your work address. </li></ul></ul>
    61. 63. Wrap up …. <ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MORE than email </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email can be an effective method of communication </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purpose </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul></ul>
    62. 64. What will you do? <ul><li>Did you discover something about your communication style? </li></ul><ul><li>Did you discover something about how you write emails? </li></ul><ul><li>Will you change anything? </li></ul>
    63. 65. What will you do? <ul><li>What will you keep the same? </li></ul><ul><li>What two things will you do to keep yourself organized? </li></ul>