On an average, every day, an office goer receives 121 emails and sends out 40 emails. It seems unbelievable, right? But, apparently, we do spend a major portion of our day writing emails than getting the work done! And, THAT’S a problem in itself. Could we then not stop ourselves from exposing ourselves and our colleagues to this daily blast of content? The answer is: we could. Let’s look at a few instances of how we can become better at communicating with each other, without making the work suffer.
We do spend a major portion of our day writing emails than getting the work done! And, THAT’S a problem in itself. Could we then not stop ourselves from exposing ourselves and our colleagues to this daily blast of content? The answer is: we could.
#1 When we are deep into the trap of an email spat!
Clearly, an email is not the best place to argue. Those one-page, sarcasm-laden, long emails you furiously type only make the matters worse. Reason? A lot of emails can be misinterpreted and the recipient may not always be capable of reading between the lines! Effective communication includes visual aspects such as body language, facial expressions, hand gestures, intonations of voice and the general visual aura that a person creates. All these are not present in emails. This often leads to miscommunication and spoils valuable professional relationships. So, rather than having this electronic dual, you should actually sit across the table and clarify things. It will save you the horror of anticipating a response from your worthy opponent and also save you time!
#2 When you realize your email is a LONG one!
Ever been in this spot? Here you are writing an email which just prolongs to an extent that you could even turn it in a book! Yeah, it’s an exaggeration but you do get the drift? It gets even more maddening when you finish writing only to realize that you can’t send it without proofreading it! Well, let’s tell you that these emails are a massive waste of energy and time, especially when all of what you want to email can be communicated in a meeting. Moreover, the person who is going to receive your email may not have the time or the patience to read long text and may lose the inclination to read a very long email just by looking at its length. This can nullify the entire purpose of sending the email and turn your efforts into waste.
#3 When you are cc’d and bcc’d!
Nothing angers a person more than being sent unsolicited emails. If you ever find yourself stuck in such emails where you have no active role to play, then just let the sender know. Pick up the phone and request them to keep you out of it. If the email’s being sent by your subordinate then let them know that you would appreciate being marked on important emails only.
#4 When you get caught in the <reply all> loop
Holy Molly! This is as crazy as you or your mailbox can get! These are the kind of emails that rattle our brains out completely! If you are the sender then make the most of the subject line of your email and let your colleagues know that they needn’t <reply all>. You can also mention it at the bottom of your email so that if anyone has a question they can connect with you instead of emailing the entire world! If you are the receiver and don’t want to be included in the discussion, just let the sender know politely that he or she should delete you from the list.
#5 When there’s something that needs immediate attention
There is absolutely no need to send an email when there’s something waiting for an urgent action. You could either go solo (if required) or head over to your colleague’s workstation and have a talk. If you’re located in different cities or countries then communicate through Skype, WhatsApp/Facebook message or video call, Facetime or Hangout and get the noose off your neck!
#6 When there’s a senseless to-and-fro of emails
Even the best of us give in to the compulsive need of documenting everything on an email. Agreed that delicate and confidential matters need documentation, but is it necessary all the time? Why must you send 50 emails for something and waste 2 days waiting for a reply? You could as well just pick up your phone or leave it to be discussed in the weekly meetings.
Think there’s more to add to this list? Leave your comments below!