E-mail can be one of the biggest thieves of management time. The objective of management should be to reduce it to essentials and to secure its effectiveness in both form and content.
As with other forms of communication, our attitude determines our success.
- Preparation – in whom is the recipient most interested?
What is the purpose of the communication? What is the most efficient way to communicate it? Is what I am writing necessary to communicate at all? What action do I seek?
How much of what I have written is justification? How much of it is confirmation of what has already been said/agreed (often a good reason to write), how much consists of new ideas/suggestions, which might be better, communicated orally? To what extent does it make a positive impression?
What impression is given through the layout and character of what I have written? What does it say about my level of professionalism? How can it be improved?
- Positive, Accurate and Concrete
If information is being transmitted, how accurate is it – and how concrete? How positive an impression does it make? What questions are likely to arise in the mind of the person reading this, and what can I do now to answer them? To what extent is this written for the recipient?
- Necessity – again
Is this E-mail necessary? A call or a stroll to their workplace may be a better form of communication
For more on this, consider enrolling on our Foundations of Management programme which equips managers with the skills, attitudes and disciplines needed to take their careers to the highest possible levels.