The use of e-mail in corporate culture is pervasive. I rarely get letters any more. Even phone calls are uncommon. But I get scores of e-mail messages every day. Yet, I am continually surprised at how people often misuse this medium. Therefore, I would like to humbly offer up 18 suggestions for better e-mail communication and etiquette:
Archive for Your Job
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek, provides some fascinating statistics about e-mail addiction and information overload on his Web site. He says, 66% of people read email seven days a week and expect to receive a response the same day …. Blackberry addiction has been labeled “similar to drugs” in a study performed by Rutgers University; millions of users are now able unable to go more than five minutes without checking e-mail.
Many years ago, I had a boss that drove me crazy. He insisted on micro-managing me. He wanted to know every move I made. I had to furnish daily status reports with every call, every conversation, every project, etc. It really got to me. I tried to be patient, but I eventually quit. I just couldn’t succeed in that environment.
I’ve had more than 20 bosses in my career. I worked well with nearly all of them. Most of them were surprisingly average—even forgettable. One was brilliant and became a role model. But he was the exception.
This is probably the most important question you could ever ask. The answer will determine how fast you advance in your career and, more importantly, how happy you are in your job. Many of us have had to figure it out the hard way—by trial and error.
In his book, Getting Things Done he writes: If you’re like me and most people, no matter how good your intentions may be, you’re going to have the world come at you faster than you can keep up…. We book ourselves in back to back meetings all day, go to after-hours events and generate ideas and commitments we need to deal with, and get embroiled in engagements and projects that have the potential to spin our creative intelligence into cosmic orbits…. If the item requires me to take action, I can: Do it if it takes less than two minutes or add it to my Outlook task list to do later;Defer it by actually scheduling a time on my calendar to deal with it; orDelegate it to someone else for action and enter it into my Outlook task list using the “@WaitingFor” category.
The ability to sell an idea or project to your boss is critical to your success. If you can’t get your boss’s approval when you need it, you are not going to go very far in your career.