Digital Media – Top Ten ‘Rules’.

I never thought as a Coach 15 years ago, that I’d now be be dishing out advice about managing email. Hey ho, I never saw that big issue coming and the impact it has had on the productivity and wellbeing of Managers and Leaders. So here goes a few precious tips:

1. Observe the Golden Rule first and foremost.
Email is a great tool for exchanging data or information. It is a terrible medium for conversing, conveying an emotion, testing the waters, handling a complex or delicate situation. These challenges are better undertaken with the human voice. Use email sparingly with this in mind.

2. CCing is an epidemic because it’s easy to do and some would say as a means to avoiding solo accountability. Go for zero CCing as the goal. If you want someone to really read that email – put them in the ‘To’ box where they belong.

3. Don’t do reply to all Enough said.

4. Assume EVERYTHING you send will be forwarded. Because it can be and sometimes it is. Prevent inappropriate or sensitive information going global.

5. Treat email like the Royal Mail. Open it 2 or 3 times a day and notice how life goes on. Switch off the automatic receive function on your inbox. Be in charge of whom you let interrupt you.

6. Subject lines. A subject line is how you tell yourself what you are saying. If you are having trouble with this, chances are your email message is not clear. Make sure they specifically reflect the content of your entire message – one worders generally don’t do this. Reply to all’s often have the original subject but a moved on content. Another reason to not hit the Reply To All!

7. Email as the dominant form of communications has crept into the workplace. The human voice is far more appropriate in many situations. USE THE PHONE IT WORKS!

8. Relationship Effectiveness. Adopt the same no surprise protocol as in letters. If you do have to communicate via email have all messages start with Further to our conversation. How do you win an email argument? Answer – You don’t.

9. Do not send email if you need a response in under 24 hours. (Unless you have called them and confirmed they will be accessing their email within that time frame!)

10. Blackberries. See the above and repeat.

Paul Fox

Paul Fox has been active as a Construction Industry Performance Coach for the last 20 years and remains at the forefront of Collaborative Working and High Performance Team Behaviours. He disrupts the status quo of individuals, project and senior teams who want exponentially more output with much less struggle.

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