Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

All emails deleted/addressed on Friday’s

Friday, December 26th, 2008

I wanted to share a very interesting and proven technique used today by some of our major IT leaders on handling email.

I was speaking at a conference a year or so and met up with a leader at a very large software company here in the Seattle Washington area. This leader told me that every Friday by end of day, he addresses every email he has in his inbox before the end of the day. So going into the weekend, he has zero email in his Inbox. He as no folders, does not keep his sent mail and if there is something that he can’t get too, he simply adds it as meeting item on his work calendar and makes time to address the particular email. Something he needs to research or simply does not have the time to address at that time.

What an amazing concept? He literally has no emails when he leaves the day on Friday. He will watch his email over the weekend on his phone, and as he goes into the work week on Monday, he is basically back to normal processing the x amount of email he gets every day.

Can you imagine that? Can you imagine being in a position to not have to save email or defend what you have sent? This is just amazing and 100% true story that I thought you would like.

I love your work Tim, have all your books, actually, have multiple copies..

One of your biggest fans…

Bill Dow, PMP

Drop some email weight!!

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Here’s an excerpt from the upcoming video training release: The Dirty Dozen Rules of Email Management:

ABC Reports on “No Email Fridays”

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Click here for a link to ABC News Report on No Email Friday?

So US Cellular has implemented a company policy, “No Emails on Friday.” They thought it might be a neat idea if employees met face to face or better yet, picked up the phone and talked to someone.

Hmmm, a phone service provider is trying to dissuade workers from using their email and suggesting instead they use the phone?  Seems suspiciously like a marketing ploy they hope will catch on, perhaps with US Cellular subscribers….

Okay, call me cynical.  But unless Google tries to get us to use the encyclopedia once a week, or starts a “Go to the Library on Fridays” campaign, then I might be on to something.

Master Your Subject Line

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Face it; your emails are part of a snow storm blowing into someone’s Crack berry.

Your carefully worded opus is part of a day’s load of information that you expect to poke through, get read and hopefully elicit a response.

If you want to jump out of the e-noise and improve your readership with your email buddies you need to hone your skills at writing good subject lines.

The basics are:
* Vague is bad
* Hey! is not a real subject line
* RE: RE: FW: FW: is not attractive and will not be read right away

When I know someone well, I will make a call to action in the subject line if my email is intended to get someone to do something. If I need to change a call, I put it in the subject line. If I need you to send me a file, I put it in the subject. You’d be amazed how your response rates jumps.

When I am in a less intimate business relationship, I work on a three to five word subject that zeros in on why I’m sending the email. If we are working on an event together I’ll put “About the sales conference” in the subject.

When you reply, feel free to start a new subject (too often we just reply and the subject line stays the same, except now with a RE: before it.) Let the new subject line redefine where the email thread is going. This not only helps to focus the email exchange on a real outcome, it keeps the conversation going.

This is especially true if many of your email buddies are on black berry. They scroll through subjects and make their choices almost on impulse. Most of the devices (like the TREO) will just show you subjects, not authors and you have to open it to know more.

In those cases, you can be the most effective just putting your name in the subject line. When I’m reconnecting with someone, for example, I always put “From Tim Sanders” in the subject line. Again, I’ve noticed a much quicker response.

All the comments on the blog are helpful and I’d like to invite readers to contribute their best advice for writing a subject line that gets results! This is an advice blog, so let’s start cross sharing advice — espcially if it can improve our email lives.

I need down time!!

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

There was a story in the LA Times recently about email invading our downtime (LA Times story on email). I thought it was right on.

People can not and should not be expected to work seven days a week. Much less after regular or normal business hours. We all need time off to recharge our batteries. Which brings me to Rule #6 of the Dirty Dozen Rules to Email Etiquette, Don’t send email at unprofessional hours. Don’t send an email at a time of day you would not call on the phone. Did you call thirteen times on your managers honeymoon last year?

Well, that’s what you did when you sent him thirteen emails. Research shows that there is a 40% higher turn over rate in service companies were employees get emails and work calls after normal business hours. Research also shows that a manager that sends their people late night emails will cause them to log on more and more and work later and later.

Late night emails breed anger and contempt. Keep it simple. No emails after hours. Please no sipping and sending! Sipping and sending emails are usually very poor quality and much better never sent.

Page Moseley
Certified EmailAtoZ Trainer

E-Quakes are common, are you ready?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

A recent study indicates that over half of all companies have had email downtime in the last year.

For information workers, having email go down can grind business to a fault. In some cases, data is lost, in others emails wait days to be sent or received.

What can you do about it? First of all, delete what you don’t need, archive often and watch the size of files sent over that platform (use YouSendIt for files larger than 5 megs). That’s the finding of the study.

Most important: Back up everything, have an alternative email account (I use Yahoo Mail) and have a contingency plan for your next email outage.

Does the email tsunami help us?

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Leave it up to researchers at Harvard to prove the impossible: Email overload is good.

Harvard study suggests email overload gives us a unique perspective

What do you think? Has email given you a unique lens to see the world in ways your parents couldn’t? Chirp in some comments or post to the blog!

Obey Email Preferences

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

If you want to have a productive relationship, especially with someone of power, obey their preferences when it comes to email.

I learned this lesson at a critical point of my life at Yahoo.  Anil Singh ran Yahoo’s sales and marketing groups for years and was the guru of numbers.  He is a brilliant and powerful man, and everybody wanted to work for him.  So he was pummeled with information, most of it useless.  I wrote him an opus about a meeting I attended with a huge prospective partner.   The next day, from his cube, he pointed to me and motioned me into his space.

“Look at all this reading material”, he opened.  He was sitting in a mountain of documents, charts and bound reports.

“You should be able to fit any email message into my preview pane.  Otherwise, come see me or call.”

I immediately realized that I could be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  Anil is a “preview pane” guy that wants pithy, to the point requests and answers to his emailed questions.  For anything complicated, he liked warmer levels of contact (email cold, face to face real warm).  I honored that request from that day forward and it made a huge difference in my relationship with him.  When I went to work for Greg Coleman and later Wenda Millard, I learned their email preferences right away and stuck to them.  This is a little known secret about how to handle brand new relationships at work.  If you make this as important as knowing their birthday or their favorite football team — you will go far in your BizLife.  Most people will not tell you like Anil told me.  That was good luck, a gift.  To obey, you first need to ask about the rules.

Dr. Tony Alessandra coined the phrase, “The Platinum Rule”.  Whereas the Golden Rule says that you reflect your preferences on others (which would suck for them if you are self-destructive), the Platinum Rule says, “do unto others as they want to be done unto!”.

Yep, that’s right.   New email law:  obey preferences.

Editors Note: Thanks to Scott Zimmerman, Managing Partner at Platinum Rule Group for setting us straight on where the Platinum Rule came from.

Don’t email your people while they are on vacation!

Monday, June 9th, 2008

When one of your biz partners (employee, vendor, coworker) is on his or her annual summer vacation – do them a favor and leave them alone!

When I worked at Yahoo, I put my employee’s vacation days into my calendar to remind me to leave them off threads or BCC/CCs. When there was an email that they would eventually need to see or be copied on (when they got back), I would part it in the draft folder, then send all of them the day they returned.

The research I conducted for my Email Etiquette training program indicates that a person would rather get twenty emails first thing on Monday, coming back from time off, than twenty emails spread out over their vacation.

Why? When you send emails to people on vacation, they feel the need to check their email more often, respond to you and get engaged again with work. This destroys the healing process of time off and is quite inconsiderate on your part.

Great managers and business partners let their people take real time off. No chatter, CYA-FYI junk, just pure time off. After all, you wouldn’t call his or her cell phone twenty times while they were on vacation!

Check out more ideas on better email behavior at: Email A to Z

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