Effective and Ineffective Email Practices

This is the post excerpt.

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Ineffective

  1. Not reading emails completely and carefully. This is ineffective because most correspondence through email has important information listed in it. Not reading carefully will allow for misunderstanding and/or confusion, which can cause issues with setting up meetings or relaying messages or information from one person to the next.
    Ex. I had to send out emails about changes in times for an event I was hosting. Because the receiving party did not read the message carefully, they were very upset the day of the event when it ended an hour earlier than had been scheduled.
  2. Not building on the ideas of others or posing questions. In order to have a team message or project done to its best quality, you must build on the ideas everyone is submitting. When submitting, asking questions along with your comments can help engage everyone, and answer any topics that may not be clear to everyone in the group.
    Ex. Recently, I had a group project where people would not answer my questions about submitting the assignment. It lead to me submitting it at 11:59 pm the day it was due without knowing if someone else was going to try and do the same.
  3. Not staying on topic. When corresponding with people, not staying on topic can lead to people not following up with the subject at hand. It can also lead to people not referencing the conversation later due to the conversation veering off the topic. This usually leads to the original topic being lost in translation.
    Ex. As president over the Student Government Association, I would have to write dozens of people at a time. Sometimes my fellow members would start going off topic about issues leading to us never really solving the original problem I had been writing them about.

Effective

  1. Using emails in appropriate length. This is important because too much or too little can cause the receiving party to ignore parts of the message or not receive enough information because the email was so short. Creating the appropriate length of an email can show that you are interested in the subject, but you are also willing to trade ideas and communicate.
    Ex. I find it much easier to communicate with my volunteers when they provide all the necessary information for me to answer their questions or concerns. The longer the message the more information I have to retain and try and respond to.
  2. Using flexible, open, and inviting language. Doing so allows you to express your opinion and remain open to others opens. Use words or phrases like I think, I suggest, or perhaps we should to show you are inviting open conversation.
    Ex. When writing with my group, I found it much more inviting when the responding comments had the phrase, I think. They would state, I think we should. . .It showed me that the were open to all ideas while providing their own.
  3. Stating the purpose of the forum. The subject line should say what the discussion is about. It should be clear, and possibly ask a question. This helps other members of the team to engage in the topic being discussed.
    Ex. When I worked with a group to create a business plan, it made it much easier for me to understand what information would go where when the subject was clear. We would post discussions on what we should be doing. We would label each forum with the part of the business plan it was pertaining to. It kept us on topic, and it was easy to find each sections discussions.

 

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