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Email Etiquette

Wow, he was mad! She forwarded an email that he intended to be only for her.

Then he was doubly mad when she dismissed his concerns, “If you didn’t want someone else to see it why did you send it?”

Good quality communication is hard enough by voice; electronic communications are minefields for misunderstanding and frustration. Many clients bring these issues to our sessions.

Here are just a few ways you can help your text and email recipients both keep the peace and help your reader give you what you need.

Assuming all emails are ok to forward.

Think for a moment. Apply the 4 way test from Rotary International:

1. Is it the truth?

2. Is it fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

What do hoagies on Friday have to do with next quarter’s budget?

You’re working fast and grab a recent email to use for the email address. Take a moment and update the subject first. Otherwise someone might make hoagie procurement a line item in the budget. (Which would be a good team builder, wouldn’t it?)

Stream of Consciousness content?

Please, stick to the email subject. Introducing another topic makes it hard to follow. Go ahead, take a risk, start another email. It’s not like you’re wasting paper and your coworkers will thank you.

“You make things so much more clear to me. You’re a good coach.” – S.P.


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