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My boss told me this once.

He was the CEO, he got many more e-mails than I did, and still answered to every single one within one day. It was difficult for me to understand how he could do that despite his tough agenda.

I used to briefly read every single incoming e-mail, mark some, ignore or delete others. I would do the same the day after. Therefore, I permanently had no less than 50 unread e-mails.

People would call me and ask if I had taken the time to answer their question or get done what they needed, and so on. I felt very guilty multiple time because I had no idea what they were talking about.

When I got promoted, the amount of e-mails in my inbox doubled (at least).

And then, my boss told me: “don’t read e-mails twice. There is no time for that. If you start reading one e-mail read it through and answer it immediately. Otherwise, don’t read it. If you do it partially, you will have to read it again, and then answer, if you have time. That is at least twice as much time”.

I’ve tried and I am getting much better now. But that’s not all. I realized that writing concise and short e-mails is kind and clever.

The reader will appreciate it. It is not about you, but about him or her. Think of all the amount of information we receive every minute. It is impossible to process everything. Being short and concise is not easy, but it matters.

What counts is your ability to extract the core of what you need to say and put it in the right words, grammatically correct, without weird abbreviations and still authentic.

At university, a professor challenged us to write summaries. He was very strict. He didn’t want us to copy and paste the important parts of each chapter. He wanted us to get the core message and make it interesting enough for the reader to learn more in the next pages.

If your communications are short, to the point and authentic, there will be less room for misinterpretations, the attention will be focussed on the message, and the reader will not leave your communication for later.

    Posted in: blog

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