#034: Make Your E-mail Messages More Effective and Professional [Podcast]

In this episode, I’ll be talking about e-mail, particularly e-mail etiquette. If you’re at all like me, most of your communication—most of your work!—involves composing and reading e-mail.

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And, if you’re also like me, there are probably things other people do in their e-mail messages that drive you crazy. Well—news flash—there might be things you are doing that drive others crazy too!

I usually get about two hundred emails a day. You might get even more than that. Dealing with email can take a lot of time that would be better spent pursuing the creative aspect of our work.

In this episode, I share eighteen guidelines that I believe will help you make e-mail a more civilized and effective form of communication.

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Just a quick reminder that tickets for the Platform Conference 2013 will go fast. We are already sold out of Master Level tickets, but we still have Signature and Connector tickets available. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to take your platform to the next level.

  • Suggestion 1: Understand the difference between the “To” and the “CC” fields.
  • Suggestion 2: Keep messages brief and to the point.
  • Suggestion 3: Don’t discuss multiple subjects in a single message.
  • Suggestion 4: Reply in a timely manner.
  • Suggestion 5: Be mindful of your tone.
  • Suggestion 6: Don’t use e-mail to criticize others.
  • Suggestion 7: Don’t reply in anger.
  • Suggestion 8: Don’t overuse “reply to all.”
  • Suggestion 9: Don’t forward chain letters.
  • Suggestion 10: Don’t “copy up” as a means of coercion.
  • Suggestion 11: Don’t overuse the “high priority” flag.
  • Suggestion 12: Don’t write in ALL CAPS.
  • Suggestion 13: Don’t send or forward emails containing libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist, or obscene remarks.
  • Suggestion 14: Remember that company e-mail isn’t private.
  • Suggestion 15: Use a signature with your contact information.
  • Suggestion 16: Provide “if-then” options.
  • Suggestion 17: Use your spell-checker.
  • Suggestion 18: Re-read your e-mail before you send it.

Listener Questions

  1. Becky Caldwell asked, “Where is the line between projecting fun and still being professional?”
  2. Bobby Zaki asked, “How can you reduce your e-mail processing time?”
  3. Kieley Best asked, “Do I need to notify my clients when I have completed a task?”
  4. Tehila Gonen asked, “What is the best way to emphasize a word in an e-mail? bold? all caps? underline?”
  5. Tom Dickson asked, “Isn’t it sometimes more productive to forget e-mail and just go have a conversation?”

Special Announcements

  1. I am speaking at the F&M Bank Mortgage Group in Tulsa, OK on Tuesday, December 4th. My topic will be “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World,” and especially how building a platform can be helpful to loan originators and realtors.
  2. On Wednesday, December 5th, I will be speaking for Strata Leadership at an event they call Stratagy [sic] Circle. My topic will be “Shift: Leading Well in Challenging Times.”
  3. On Thursday, I’m attending a board meeting for ReThink Books in Dallas, Texas and then on Friday evening and Saturday, I’ll be hosting the year-end retreat for my Mentoring Group. We’ll be discussing finishing well.
  4. My next podcast will be on the topic of “The Importance of the Leader’s Heart.” If you have a question on this subject, please leave me a voicemail message. This is a terrific way to cross-promote YOUR blog or website, because I will link to it, just like I did with the callers in this episode.

Episode Resources

In this episode I mentioned several resources, including:

Show Transcript

You can download a complete, word-for-word transcript of this episode here, courtesy of Ginger Schell, a professional transcriptionist, who handles all my transcription needs.

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Question: What other e-mail suggestions would you like to offer? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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