Wait! Before you send that email…

Wait! Before you send that email ….… go visit your customer or pick up the phone or look over the cubicle to see if anyone’s home.

In this fast-paced, digital, virtual world, we often opt for the electronic message and the virtual experience. There are many amusing stories like the students that text message as they walk past each other at school; parents that are amazed their offspring will answer a text message, but not a phone call; and musing over the abundance of tweets about the cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

At the risk of seeming to be “way back in the 90’s,” opt for the personal interaction and show someone that you really care.  There is nothing like a happy voice or a smiling face to make us feel human.

Time for full disclosure, I read and send many emails – too many emails. I text a little and tweet, but I do enjoy talking on the phone and face-to-face conversations.  Most people do. Being old fashioned, I still send handwritten thank you notes that are often hand addressed.  The other day someone told me how much they appreciated my thoughtfulness.  Wow! It made the writer’s cramp worth it.

Electronic messages are important for getting out information, quick updates and retaining a copy of correspondence. Unless you are sending to someone you know very well, don’t try to be funny through sarcasm.  Many an email war has erupted because humor or sarcasm came across as insulting.

So before you send that email, consider these –

  • Don’t copy the world on your emails.  You know what happens to emails when you are one of many in the distribution list.
  • Don’t forward chain emails or hoaxes.  They just clog up the internet and irritate the recipient.
  • If you want something done, don’t send to more than one person.  If you do, they will all ignore you.
  • Whenever you can, talk to your customer, coworker or employee.  You’ll be surprised how good it feels.
  • Use email, but use it wisely.

Next time,  text abbreviation primer for the analog generation.

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