Jay is a regular guy with great ideas & big dreams. Just like you and me he hates Mondays. He spends most of his week finishing up mundane tasks. In the little time that he finds out of his busy schedule, he thinks of most great ideas and works on what he calls his dream project.
A regular day at work for him starts by arriving at his workplace just about in time for his job update meeting. He then gets up to bring himself a cup of coffee. After that, he hurriedly opens his laptop as if to launch some kind of a mission.
He snaps open his Outlook & sorts his email as unread.
He spends an hour replying to emails.
It looks somewhat like this;
– Please update?
– Is this done?
– Can you chcek? We’re delayed.
Do you relate?
Emails is the most crucial tool you use daily. It is the only medium through which you communicate with your colleagues, business partners & so many people who you don’t see for days and months together. What you write in your email gets the person at the receiving end to respond in a certain way.
If your email displeases the other person then the outcome of whatever you’re expecting from them will more or less be equally displeasing. Unless you’re lucky.
The way you write you emails says a lot about your personality as well. It should be treated with a lot of responsibility.
Here are some common scenarios that I’ve been a victim of, and immediately after I changed the way I communicated over emails, I saw positive results.
Find yourself following up a day before the due date? Or right on the due date? You might want to avoid that.
If it’s very urgent, pick up the phone to find out if your project is right on track.
If it’s delayed by a day or two, don’t send a hasty email, but again, first, pick up the phone to ask if there are any road blocks & if you can provide any help. You can then send an email which sounds professional and not panicky.
You can write a polite email if delivery is delayed by more than three days. You must also avoid marking the entire world in CC on mails, unless it’s important to update somebody else. Marking a lot of people makes the recipient feel less important.
It is very unlikely for someone to not update you if there’s any potential delay. So save your follow up emails unless it’s very urgent.
When you’re in the position where you have to give feedbacks you feel slightly authoritative & that may make you go on a criticizing spree.
Mostly, if the outcome is not as per what you want, it could be because the other team did not really understand the brief properly. Don’t expect anything to be 100% on point at the first meeting.
When you give feedback, make sure its very clear and not as vague as – this is disapproved, you need to do better, and this does not work.
Make your feedback detailed, and encourage the other team to reach out to you if there are any doubts.
This way you will be able to receive a desirable outcome faster.
Always acknowledge the emails that you receive. Even if you don’t have the time to respond to the email in detail, let the sender know that you will check & reply at a convenient time. The sender should know that you are not deliberately ignoring or are irresponsible.
Replying and communicating through emails builds a working relationship and also helps getting things done faster. The easy way to understand & follow this is to know that emotions play a sensitive role while communicating & are often misunderstood through emails. Next time, when you write an email, make sure you’re in a positive state of mind.
This way, you will automatically develop a habit of writing emails that don’t offend anyone.