Personal Side Of Business E-Mail
Personal Side Of Business E-Mail
Tim Burress (E-mail Etiquette and Organization Specialist) gives expert video advice on: What are the consequences of inappropriate e-mail?; Can I retract an e-mail I send? and more...
Why do people have so much anxiety about e-mail?
There is a very visceral or emotional feeling to e-mail. In other words, when people get a lot of e-mail their blood pressure rises. Their heart rate rises. They get very anxious. They want to get to the bottom. The whole objective for a lot of people in a day is to get to the white space, meaning the white space at the bottom of their in-box. So they spend most of the day trying to process through these e-mails as quickly as they can. It is almost like a hot potato. Instead of having it end in my in-box, I am going to send it to someone else. And so we have this very emotional good feeling when we get to the bottom of our in-box and we are not really thinking about the sender, or the receiver, excuse me, we are thinking more about the sender.
How does business e-mail affect a person's personal life?
The effect of business e-mail on your personal life is quite profound. People are always checking their e-mail on the weekends, checking their e-mail all the time. They carry their PDAs with them. And 40% of people say that e-mail, their business e-mails, interferes with their personal time. That's time that can be spent with family and friends.
Why do people use 'themes' and unique fonts in their business e-mails?
People are trying to make their e-mails stand out by using different colors, different themes, different backgrounds, different fonts, because no one is paying attention to their e-mails in the first place. Then they begin to change other things. When in reality they're really losing the main point of the message. The message should be simple and clear. You're not going to convey a message any better in e-mail by changing the font to purple or, you know changing some kind of graphics behind it. It often is very frustrating to the receiver. Actually bringing the main point right up to the front, is really what the receiver is looking for.
How much e-mail should a successful person receive?
Some people brag about the amount of e-mail they receive. They equate it to their worth or their value within a company. They will say, "Oh, I get 100 e-mails a day so I must be more important than you because I am getting more of this." In reality, most of us are saying that about 60% of our e-mail is unnecessary. It is not timely. It is not relevant. It's not complete. It is over targeted. Bragging about something that we really don't find necessary is not a sign of how productive but maybe how busy we are.
What are the consequences of inappropriate e-mail?
The consequences of inappropriate e-mail are all around us today in the papers. Perfect examples are where people put into an e-mail emotional things about a love triangle, like we saw with NASA, emotions like we saw with Gonzalez and the firing of the judges. Brown with the EPA and Katrina, e-mails that transpired there. Mark Foley with the e-mails that he was doing in Washington. Those are all examples that have involed a lot of people, a lot of time, a lot of litigation that ultimately go back, again to e-mail and go back to things that perhaps, should not have been put into e-mail.
Can I retract an e-mail I send?
You can recall an e-mail once its been sent, if you are in the United States, and you send an e-mail to Japan and it's going through about 20 different servers and you had a reaction speed of about two seconds, you can recall the message. Otherwise, once you hit send because of the technology today with speed of internet, it is gone, and some of us get mislead by a function key that we see in Outlook or Lotus Notes called the 'recall' button and we try to recall that message, and basically it doesn't work because we don't have the speed in order to recall that message fast enough. And so, you send a message that you shouldn't have sent, that arrives at the recipients mailbox, and then another message comes in trying to recall it, so you're basically giving evidence to the fact that you shouldn't have sent the message by trying to recall the message. It doesn't really work. The better thing to do is just not send the message in the first place.