Let's talk about email!
Yeah, that's right... What on earth could be MORE BORING! Well, honestly, not much! The suggested Day 4 topic for the #yourturnchallenge is "teach us something you do well". Since learning to play trombone (even poorly) takes a bit more than a day, I thought I'd address something else that I have at least tried to improve upon over the last few years. Yep, that's email. Not more, but less. Not longer, but short, to the point, and incapable of misinterpretation. I now treat email as a form of almost formal communication. If I need to reply to an email, I strive to do so in a tone that shows respect towards the person I'm writing. That might mean simple things like punctuation, complete sentences, and capitalizing words. Nothing shows me a blasé attitude more than an email with grammar that was modeled after prose on a bathroom wall. I might also use phrases such as, "might I suggest", or "I would like to recommend". Always follow a suggestion with a solution, otherwise your great idea is just a complaint!
I tend to get a fair amount of email, although not near as much as many people I know. I love to have an empty, clean desk. I also love to have an empty email inbox! When I receive a message, I take one of 5 actions:
1. Delete it if at all possible. 2. Unsubscribe: for spam 3. Reply if it can be taken care of in a short format of a few lines or less. 4. File it away for future reference - only if absolutely necessary! 5. Leave it in the inbox if it is something I am currently working on or needs to be done by the end of the day.
My inbox currently contains 3 messages, all pertaining to the same project.
Finally, I strive to not leave my message open for interpretation. I try to be clear and write the message from the standpoint of the reader who has no preconceived idea about what I am trying to say. I avoid humor, as it is very easy to misinterpret jokes over email. Yeah, I know you can use emoticons, but I save that for people who know me well. :)
There you go! Please respond in the comments, NOT via email... :)