Yesterday I was reading a really interesting article on <a title="Email etiquitte tips for the super-busy" href="http://the99percent.com/tips/6975/Email-Etiquette-for-the-Super-Busy">the 99% site about ‘Email Etiquette’</a>. Yeah sure, email’s on <a title="Demise of Email" href="http://blog.socialcast.com/social-networks-spur-the-demise-of-email-in-the-workplace/">the decline</a>, but it’s going to haunt us for a while. And there's no doubt it can be major time-stealer and workflow-killer in organisations of all sizes. As a champion of email etiquette (and a past transgressor!) I've been observing the habits and traits of colleagues over the years, and here's my light-hearted view of the 'personas' we all might recognise at our places of work...<strong> </strong> <strong>The Vague </strong>Ever get emails from people who barely make sense? Of course you do. Every message looks like it’s been written in a hurry on a mobile device while the sender was distracted. These often need about 30 follow-up emails to understand what the point of the message was in the first place. Hey vague person - just pick up the phone! <strong>The So-Very-Formal</strong> These guys just can’t give up the old ways. Things were easy when you just got a secretary to take a letter or circulate a memo right? Usually messages from such individuals start with a <em>‘Dear Steve’</em>, have an abundance of ‘carriage returns’ and end with something like: <em>‘The Kindest Regards,</em> <em>Your Humble Servant,</em> <em>Jeremy Smythe Esq.’</em> It’s an email not a letter to a 1950s Bank Manager. Just stop it! <strong>The Grammar Killer</strong> Yes we want concise and to the point so we can forgive some errors written in haste, but some people really should do a simple check before they hit send. I’ve had messages from people that have been almost impossible to decipher because of poor spelling and lazy grammar. Call me pedantic (and believe me, you won’t be the first!) but it would be good to receive messages that suggest a small degree of thought and care had been applied. <strong>The Rambler</strong> Oh please, do get to the point! Do you really mean I have to digest all of this rubbish to get to the meat of the sandwich? Meta-discourse is not your friend. Ever. Of course email should be concise. If not write a document and attach it. End of message. <strong>The Ranter</strong> Long-winded rants don’t belong in emails (guilty m'lud!). It’s not really an opportunity to rant, if you want to do that you can always start a blog. Or get a soapbox. Irony and sarcasm are completely redundant in emails, it’s always worth taking a step back and wondering what an angry email is going to add to a sensitive situation. <strong>The Carbon Copier</strong> Some people just love to copy the world, his fiancé and her second cousin's dog in on emails. I filter these straight to a folder marked ‘When I can be bothered’ because they are almost always not useful in any way. <strong>The Texter</strong> Let’s get this straight, I don’t really need a <em>‘Thanks!</em>’, or a smiley, or a couple of kisses in return for an email I’ve sent you. :-P OK, is there anyone I've left out? Do please let me know!
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