Sunday, October 5, 2008
E-Mail the World
Business today often means we send e-mails that fly around the world. When you do that, don’t just Twitter off a quick minimal message. Think about who will receive your message. Is it someone familiar with the abbreviations, acronyms of your company, your industry? Is English their first language? Some simple measures will increase the chances that your message will be understood:
Keep things simple. Short sentences. Avoid abbreviations, in-house shorthand.
Remember communication patterns differ. Be cautious about how you phrase questions and requests. Show respect. Be careful about direct questions.
Expect that others may read your message. In cultures where consensus is essential your questions and requests will be shared and discussed before there can be a reply.
Be patient. Not everyone operates on fast, fast, immediate reply, rush ahead time.
And most important – from time to time skip the mail. Instead pick up the phone, call, Skype, build the personal connection in a way that can’t be done by words on a screen.