Email Etiquette

The Dos and Don’ts of Professional Emails

 

Do have a clear subject line.

Most of us have to compete with the hundreds of emails hitting our inbox every day, so the clearer your subject line, the more likely your message will be read.

Don’t forget your signature.

Every email should include a signature that tells the recipient who you are and how to contact you. Set it up to automatically appear at the end of each email. Include your mobile number or desk  number so the recipient doesn’t have to search for  your address, email or phone number by looking into the website.

Do use a professional salutation.

Using ‘Hey,’ ‘Yo,’ or ‘Hiya’ isn’t professional, no matter how well you know the recipient. Use ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’ instead. To be more formal, use ‘Dear (insert name).’ Using the person’s name in the salutation – ‘Hello Mr. Rohit’ — is quite appropriate, but remember not to shorten a person’s name unless you’re given permission to do so.

Don’t use humor.

Humor does not translate well via email. What you think is funny has a good chance of being misinterpreted by the other party, or taken as sarcasm, without the accompanying vocal tone and facial expressions. When in doubt, leave humor out of business communications.

Do proofread your message.

Don’t be surprised if you’re judged by the way you compose an email. For example, if your email is littered with misspelled words and grammatical errors, you may be perceived as sloppy, careless, or even uneducated. Check your spelling, grammar and tone of the message before hitting  the ‘send’ button

Don’t assume the recipient knows what you are talking about.

Create your message as a stand-alone note, even if it is in response to a chain of emails. This means no “one-liners.” Include the subject and any references to previous emails, research or conversations. It can be frustrating and time consuming to look back at the chain to brush up on the context. Your recipient may have hundreds of emails coming in each day and likely won’t remember the chain of events leading up to your email.

Do reply to all emails.

Give a timely and polite reply to each legitimate email addressed to you. Even if you do not have an answer at the moment, take a second to write a response letting the sender know you received their email. Inform the sender if their email was sent to the wrong recipient, too.

Don’t shoot from the lip.

Never send an angry email, or give a quick, flip response. Give your message some thoughtful consideration before sending it. If you feel angry, put your message into the ‘drafts’ folder, and review it again later when you are calmer and have time to formulate an appropriate response.

Do keep private material confidential.

It is far too easy to share emails, even inadvertently. If you have to share highly personal or confidential information, do so in person or over the phone. Ask permission before posting sensitive material either in the body of the email or in an attachment.

Don’t! overuse exclamation points.

Exclamation points and other indications of excitement such as emoticons, abbreviations like LOL, and all CAPITALS do not translate well in business communications. Leave them off unless you know the recipient extremely well. It’s also not professional to use a string of exclamation points!!

By following these 10 quick Email Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts , you can help reduce the chances of sending out Emails that are not needed, not properly organized, or that can result in confusion or miscommunication. It may take some practice to keep your emails professional and to the point, but you will look more polished and organized in the long run.

 

Rethinking Workplace Communication  

Research has shown that within one hour, people would forget   an average of 50 per cent of the information presented. Within 24 hours, they would forget an average of 70 per cent of new information, and within a month, 90 per cent of it.

Most corporate management training programs would train your employees for a duration of six hours only (One Day) in response to the investment that you make for upskilling your employees.

Advantages of weekly sessions on communication skills training to your employees over the traditional approach:

1) Training goes hand in hand with development. The more time is invested in developing the skill sets of  your employees, the faster they can acquire the necessary skills that will make them more efficient and productive at the workplace.

2) Better training effectiveness and a positive return on investment.

3) Duration of learning hours is longer as compared to One-Day program on Communication Skills which helps in deeper understanding of the modern concepts of communication which enables to measure the level of understanding between the multiple sessions conducted.

4) Keeping a record of learning progress thereby learning from the mistakes in the past session.

5) Man-hour productivity is maintained as employees are not engaged for the full day.

It is recommended to choose a training partner who can design your training plan that consists of two hours session weekly to be delivered in eight consecutive weeks. It would not replace existing methodologies but will enrich learners experience and increase the efficiency of training.

Are you a Thinker, a Planner or a Doer?

When tackling motivation problems the solution can come from knowing a bit more about your skills and natural focus on any task. Identifying which stages of tasks you naturally excel at and which you tend to fall down at, these stages can be boiled down into 3 distinct sections; Thinking, Planning and Doing. So, let’s take a look at what these involve:

Thinking

Thinkers excel at exploring the initial ideas. They spend time brainstorming and examining all of the possibilities. Thinkers are often creative, reflective types with good imaginations. They tend to be positive people who don’t rule out options easily, preferring to explore them sufficiently before making any judgments.

Planning

Planners are strategists. They take pleasure in figuring out how best to execute a particular idea. Whilst planners may also have a creative streak, this is paired with a strong instinct for logical thought. Planners are rationalists who enjoy dissecting a problem.

Doing

Doers are the masters of action. Utterly practical and non-nonsense, doers value results and take responsibility for getting them. Paradoxically, doors are not necessarily highly motivated people. They may find that they lack focus in areas that really matter to them because of the level of fore-thought required.

Have a look at the definitions above and think about where you fit in. You will probably find that you have one strong tendency, one average, and one low. Once you have identified these, use your observations to help break the cycle of poor motivation. Simply being aware of these stages and which ones are harder for you will help overcome them.

5 Common Communication Mistakes – How to Avoid?

It can be embarrassing to make mistakes with communication. For example, if you send an email without checking it, and later realize that it contained an error, you can end up looking sloppy and unprofessional.

Mistake 1: Not Editing Your Work

Spelling, tone and grammatical mistakes can make you look careless. That’s why it’s essential to check all of your communications before you send them.

It can be difficult to see errors in your own work, so consider asking a colleague to look over key documents before you distribute them. Alternatively, read your work aloud – this makes it easier to catch typos and tone errors. Then, give yourself time to reflect on your document, and to make any final changes.

 

Mistake 2: Assuming That Your Message Has Been Understood

Always take time to check that people have understood your message.

For example, when you send out an email, you could encourage people to respond with questions or to reply, if they haven’t understood part of your message.

Or, if you’ve given a presentation, build in time for people to discuss your main points or leave time for questions at the end.

 

Mistake 3: Not Being Assertive

Assertiveness  is about stating what you need, while considering the wants and needs of others.

You may not always get your way when you’re assertive, but you stand a better chance of doing so, or of reaching a compromise, because you’ve been clear about your needs. Assertiveness is not the same as aggression. When you’re aggressive, you push to get your own way without thinking about other people’s rights, wants, and needs.

 

Mistake 4: Reacting, Not Responding

Have you ever shouted at someone  in frustration, or sent a terse reply to an email, without thinking your point through? If so, you’re likely to have reacted emotionally, instead of responding calmly.

This kind of emotional reaction can damage your reputation. You may upset people with your strong emotions, and give the impression that you lack self-control and emotional intelligence .

 

Mistake 5: Using a “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach to Communication

If you use a “one-size-fits-all” approach to communication, you may overlook people’s different personalities, needs and expectations. In fact, your communications need to address those differences as much as possible.

If you’re preparing a presentation, make sure that you appreciate that people have different learning styles , and that you cater for these. This means that everyone – from those who learn best by reading to those who prefer a more hands-on approach – can benefit from your session.

Do You Struggle with Instant Gratification?

Here are 4 Steps you Should work through

To break free from the habit of instant gratification, it’s imperative to consciously work through the following five-step process. This process of steps would develop the habits needed to pursue long-term goals and objectives.

Step 1: Know What You WantThe first step is to get a sense of where you’re going. If you don’t understand where you’re going or what you are going to be working towards, then it’s easy to get distracted by the temptations that life throws your way.

Drawing up a plan to attain your goals and vision will help you to stay focused and disciplined along your journey.

With that in mind, begin by clarifying your vision for the future. Ask yourself:

What do I want to achieve?

How will I achieve this?

Why do I want this? What are the benefits?

Why is it important to work towards this vision?

It’s crucial that you also specify your short-term objectives and priorities. This is critical because often instant gratification will squeeze its way into your life when you are indecisive or uncertain about your direction.

During these times, indulging in temptations will seem more enticing and pleasurable. On the other hand, working through the pain of trying to figure things out will be the last thing you will want to do. This is especially true when you are confronted with unexpected problems.

 

Step 2: Identify Potential Obstacles

Along your journey towards fulfilling your long-term vision of the future, you will confront many problems. Some of these problems will, of course, surprise you in unexpected ways. And if you’re not ready to deal with them, then you are likely to succumb to short-term pleasures that bring you momentary periods of comfort. These pleasures will essentially distract you from your problems.

For this very reason, it’s critical that you identify the temptations you might confront along your journey. These are temptations that could sidetrack you when facing adversity. Ask yourself:

What temptations could sidetrack me?

How will I handle these temptations?

At this stage, don’t make the mistake of trying to find solutions to your problems .Your problems are irrelevant. You will most certainly overcome them, as long as you don’t get caught off-guard by the temptations that life throws your way.

In the end, it’s not the problem you must worry about, but rather concern yourself with the things that could distract you from solving your problem.

 

Step 3: Set Clear Boundaries

It’s crucial at this stage to set clear boundaries or rules about what you will do and what you will avoid doing at all costs.

Without clear boundaries, it’s easy to fall prey to temptations. However, with clear rules in place — about what you’re allowed and not allowed to do — you will feel more in control of the events and circumstances of your life. Ask yourself:

What am I allowed to do?

What’s absolutely off limits?

Outline what kinds of behaviors you will no longer indulge in. Also, think about the long-term rewards and benefits you will derive from avoiding these potential temptations.

 

Step 4: Create a Reward System

Finally, take time to create a reward system that will help keep you motivated long-term.

Reward yourself not so much for what you’re doing, but instead, reward yourself for staying away from possible temptations that could distract you.

If for instance, you stay focused on your highest priority activities and don’t get caught up in the habit of instant gratification for an entire week, then reward yourself with some temporary pleasure that will satisfy your senses. However, once the reward is done, move on and get back on track.

Doing things this way will help you stay in control. Yes, you are giving yourself permission to indulge in temporary pleasures and temptations from time-to-time. However, these are not distractions but instead rewards for your efforts.

You are in control of this behavior and, therefore, you are in control of your life.It’s when your behavior controls you, and you end up falling prey to instant gratification, that is when your short-term pleasures begin getting in the way of your long-term objectives.