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2. An appropriate subject line will help reduce accidental deletion. It will also help locate that specific email faster if needed. When forwarding or responding, change subject line to reflect your response. You can also add your first name in subject line as an added identifier. I like to start mine with: "Personal note from Catherine" or follow after subject with: "From Catherine." If you are dealing with deadlines add: "Please respond by."
3. Keep each paragraph to one thought even if paragraph turns out to be one fragmented sentence. You will want to limit email paragraphs to six sentences. A natural way of reading from a computer screen is with a scan-read process. Screen reading dries out eyes and reduces blinking causing eyestrain.
4. Add subheader titles into email when more than three paragraphs are in email or more than three paragraphs follow subheader. You can add subheaders as you type or while rereading. This keeps eyes moving fast and easy. It also allows mind to shift from topic to topic without developing cobwebs.
5. Re-read your email no matter how long or short. We always think faster than our fingers can type. Thus, what is typed isn't always what was swarming around in our mind.
6. Does subject flow or was it choppy? Flow in an email isn't same as flow from one chapter in a book to another. Flow allows reader to easily transition and comprehend material. If choppy, reader might daydream or take a break and formulate a different answer that might not fit material, creating additional emails on your part to clarify. Frequent places to check for flow in your material are where you start or stop a message or submessage.
7. Is there any type of priority or order needed to follow so that receiver follows along with material? Are there steps or information that build on previous message? Before you can pour a glass of milk you might want buy milk -- chuckle. When we are extremely familiar with how to do something, itís easy to write past something, a common mishap by IT experts. Do you know receiver and their level of knowledge or experience on topic? My favorite saying is, "When in doubt, write it out."
8. For goodness sake, turn on spell check feature on. If you want to write pronouns in small letters, at least let spell check catch them for you.
9. Who are you? You would think that this one was common sense, at least I did. Yet, every week I receive 10-15 emails asking me a general question without telling me who they are or giving me some background. They are huge, open- ended questions that would take me years to answer. This falls into lack of respect category.
10. What do you need or want? Forwarding an email that doesn't ask for what you need makes receiver try to guess. Not cool. Speak up, don't be shy. If you take rejection personally, hire a life coach to work on this with you. Statements don't automatically ask anything. Questions do. My dad had a saying, "Squeaky wheel gets grease. If you can't ask, squeak somewhere else. I can't guess what type of oil you need." A little harsh yet it makes its point. Go ahead and ask, and no this isn't a reflection on you.
We all believe we have good communication skills. There could be some real surprises when you start practicing these 10 Simple Courtesies. Take your time, slow down in order to speed up. Tackle it slowly so that lessons stick. You will be glad you did. The next email you send might be to your next boss, client, or forwarded to President. You never know. It happened to me and it could happen to you.
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://
Catherine Franz, a Certified Professional Marketing & Writing Coach, specializes in product development, Internet writing and marketing, nonfiction, training. Newsletters and articles available at: http://www.abundancecenter.com blog: http://abundance.blogs.com/inthelight