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News & Press: Feature

E-Mail Etiquette: Sometimes it is Best to Pick Up the Phone

Friday, June 7, 2013   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Alan Strong, Association Director

As people get used to using email as a means of communications, it gets tougher and tougher to parse your work in a productive manner. Of course when I refer to email, I am also taking into consideration texts, and other means of communications that is not a person to person discussion.

My reason for attempting to find out how best to use email was brought on by the fact that for the past few weeks I have been fielding well over 250 emails a day. So as I planned my day before I left work the night before, it seems like tomorrow I would finally accomplish some of the tasks that I have been putting off for the past few days.

Unfortunately, the tomorrow I was hoping would catch me up to date; let me feeling like I did not accomplish my goals again. Now my To-Do list is growing and will continue to grow, unless I find a way to stop the flow of emails.

I went to the internet to see if I could find some interesting information that would help me accomplish my tasks in the time I had allotted them. There are several articles on making us use emails properly. Some really good ideas, like not using capital letters, or never sending angry emails and using group emails sparingly. Another good piece of information was that email is not private. Other ideas include: Respond in a timely manner. This last piece of advice seems to be my problem, so many of the 250 plus emails I receive gets answered. That is precisely why my To-Do list continues to grow.

Of all the information I read about the proper email etiquette there was only ONE that stood out, and will be of help to me. That is "Pick up the Phone”, if the topic has lots of parameters, then pick up the phone.

I have noticed that people have forgotten how to communicate without email or texting. We all know it's true. There is a sales person on my team that only communicates via email, and even if she is next door to me, she won't pick up the phone or walk 10 feet to my office to discuss an issue. This usually brings a stream of 6 to 8 emails that could have been taken care of in a matter of a few minutes as opposed to maybe ½ hour in trading emails.

Etiquette should include making an effort to converse with others on a personal level. This is either face to face or on the phone, and will save an inordinate amount of time each day. We continue to hear how the internet will make our lives much easier. To meet that goal of making our lives easier, consider whether the use of email will REALLY save time, for both parties. It is just plain common courtesy!


Carlton B. Ramsey says...
Posted Friday, June 7, 2013
I would like to start by saying agree. However, I would like to explain why I am guilty of doing the same thing. My exception is that normally I will do a face to face. I use email/text as an asynchronous way of communicating. It is my way of multitasking. If I am waiting on a process to complete or as I am switching between tasks I tend to use that time to send or review emails to get things ready for my next workload. My other reason for email is so that I have a record to refer to either to remind me what I need to do next or to remember a conversation I may have had in the past on how to accomplish something.

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