One of my MAJOR pet peeves is abuse of email. Way too often, email is used as a passive aggressive way of spouting off. The sender wants to tell you something, but they really don’t want to hear what you think, because if they did they would have called you and SPOKEN to you. Don’t get me wrong, I think email is a great communication tool - when used properly.
So, today I am going to share my “3 email rule” with you in the hope that I can do my small part to improve email communication.
Here is how the “3 email rule” works:
* You send me an email asking for help or clarification or advice
* I respond via email with my thoughts, comments, questions, etc.
* You send another email back with additional questions, or the need for clarification. (3 emails have been sent - hence the name of the rule.)
* I pick up the phone and CALL YOU to discuss the matter.
Step 4 is critical and cannot be skipped or substituted!
Seriously, we have all been involved in these endless email exchanges. They are huge time wasters and even worse, they can lead to serious misunderstandings.
A lot of times we use these quick back and forth emails as a way to avoid discussing something that needs more attention than a poorly thought out 5 second response. We shoot off a little snippet and think, “Whew, painful conversation avoided”. And then, 30 seconds later, we get a response back from the other coward we are “communicating” with who is also trying to avoid a converation, but wants to have the last word anyway. Nothing really gets accomplished in these exchanges.
So, whether you are corresponding with your candidates, coworkers, friends or family - if there are 3 emails in the chain, don’t send a 4th email, please!
PICK UP THE PHONE and TALK to each other.
Oh, and while we are on the topic of email - It drives me nuts when people hit the REPLY ALL button just to say “Thanks” . Or worse yet, when they hit REPLY ALL just to ask a question of the person who sent the original email and now 20 of us see that they don’t understand………..