Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Email Joy

Wednesday, August 6th, 2008

A well-crafted, sincere expression of appreciation over email can be a fabulous surprise. Take my friend Rose. Rose’s work is demanding. Because her company’s headquarters is 3,000 miles away, Rose often struggles with feeling isolated in her work.

Recently, I met Rose for lunch and she was beaming. She told me about an email she received from her colleague expressing deep appreciation for some of the specific contributions she has made to her program’s success, as well as for how much fun it was to work with her. Rose memorized this missive, saved it, and, later, read it to me.

It’s amazing what a little appreciation can do to revive a drooping spirit. Rose liked her company and her job better after receiving that email.

Expressing gratitude for others’ contributions vivifies biz life and ripples outward to enliven the organization.

Think about how you might use email to make someone’s day. Try to send an expression of appreciation to somebody different everyday.

And… mix it up! Expand your attitude of gratitude to phone calls, face to face meetings, and tangible cards, notes, and letters.

Jennifer Gordon, Cool Breeze Marketing

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

No “Nastygrams please”

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Ever gotten an email from someone that just made your blood boil? And before you could stop yourself you just had to tell them what you thought through a good old “Nastygram”? You very carefully and with rising blood pressure, put together and stream of words and thoughts, fit only for drunken sailors. You hit the send button sit back and realize you have just made a huge mistake. Maybe you shouldn’t have said his golf swing looks like a bad Benihana chef. And the comment on her hair was most uncalled for. Did you see the exclamation point after the last word in the last sentence? OMG there wasn’t one? Sometimes we think that the send button is our punctuation mark. It is not.

Do not send an email that you may regret. Save yourself by never pre-addressing an email. Take out the line on the To line. Write your Nastygram and and then walk away. Go to lunch or go home for the the night . Come back to your potential career killer and see if you really want to send that email. Think before you send. Most times just taking a step back will help you temper your temper. Remember never pre-address an email!!

What do you think? Send me an email to or visit

The Word BY:

Page Moseley

Certified Trainer

Recognize the weakness of email (and pick up the phone)

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Jonathan Babcock posted a very thoughtful set of ideas about the inherent weakness of email as a communications tool: Weakness Of Email Communications

His central point is that, when it comes to effective communications, email plus phone or face to face is much better than email alone.

Billboard Brain

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Here’s another perspective on email overload, from EmailAtoZ consultant Jennifer Gordon:
“I’ve got a whopping case of Billboard Brain, one for the biz-health record books. How does this refreshing affliction affect my emailing?

I regard each email I send as a miniature billboard. I want to give my reader a break with a lot of white space. I’m learning to keep my emails fresh, thoughtful and simple.

Less really is more. In the billboard world, with your target audience driving at 65 mph, you have about 3 seconds to get people’s attention. People drive fast at work, too. They’ve got a lot to do. You will not grab their attention with voluminous prose and beefy attachments.

There is nothing cryptic about a billboard. Sarcasm, witty e-banter and carelessness all encrypt your message, i.e., bury it, along with your personal brand of excellence.

Before I address my email and hit the send button, I check it against my Billboard Brain criteria: What I would not put on a billboard, I should not put in an email.

A Billboard Brain understands the only purpose of email is to say, “Yes,” “Maybe,” or to exchange harmless information [Dirty Dozen Rule #1]. A Billboard Brain is crystal clear that email is an inappropriate means of communication for anything beyond this.

I consider it the ultimate email challenge to respond appropriately without excess and to break bad email habits by picking up the phone or meeting with the people in my biz life.

Billboard Brain is fun. It’s addictive. And it’s essential to creating a strong personal and company brand.”\
If you are interested in bringing email training (etiquette to management) to your company, contact Jennifer (

Let them know you got ‘the package’

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

I had been getting several emails a day of information on a project I was putting together for a client. I got the emails and was doing the work and thought that was enough. I mean email always gets through right? The chance that I did not get her emails was slim and none. I had forgotten a common courtesy. I should have responded to each and every one of her emails.

I didn’t need to write a novel, but a quick line or two was in order. How do I know? Well, I got a frantic call asking me if I got the emails she was sending? Was it what I needed? Was I ever going to let her know that I got them? I say it all the time but business and life is all about relationships. We need to cultivate and nurture these like crops. The point is if someone sends you requested information via email, send back a simple acknowledgment. It is the polite thing to do.

Page Moseley, certified Email Etiquette trainerGet more information here

Assume they know already.

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I just received an email from an old friend, with a link to If I Did It on Amazon.  He asked me, “Can you believe this guy? What will the publishers think of next?”  I wondered if my friend had been in a coma for the last week.  Had he not read the reader responses (eg. “we did it!”)??

When something happens at Yahoo; the stock drops, a disgruntled exec writes a manifesto — I get the announcement through email up to a dozen times from well wishers.

Every day our email inbox gets cluttered with two kinds of spam: commercial spam and friendly fire.  Friendly fire is when you are buried with well-meaning but highly redundant content.  Even in our family we have one netcaster who sends us dozens of emails a week – we call him Uncle Spam.

We focus on reducing spam, yet become spammers ourselves when we play towne crier and send out dozens of emails/videos/etc. every day to our mailing list (often in CC, where anyone could reply to all and start a vicious cross-post).  Most of the time, we accompany it with “thought you’d like to know” and they usually just delete it (after it finally downloads on their black berrys at the airport).

Let all try a different approach.  If it is on the homepage of Yahoo in the news box, everybody knows.  Deal?  If it isn’t a piece of strategic information (your competitor is in play), lets err on the side of silence.

In the future our best email pals, like a good blogger, will surprise us with useful insights that we haven’t already been exposed to.   Hopefully we’ll learn from them and start to give our email partners in life “good return on attention” and be part of the solution instead of the problem.   It’s good to be a maven, we just have to give people more credit.

Recommended read:  Simplicity by Bill Jensen

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.

Turn off the digital chatter and save your sanity (at work)

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Blog reader (and good friend) Seth Dechtman pointed me to an interesting article (Lost In Email) from the New York Times that talks about how companies are trying to tackle information overload and constant interruptions at work.

These companies are smart to deal with this issue. My own research confirms that overload combined with the constant interruption of incoming emails makes work more stressful and leads to depression and lost productivity (The NEDS Study).

What can you come up with to help your company break free from the shackles of always on? Post your replies in comments.

Check out the New York Times article (Lost In Emal)

Empty your inbox

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

A few months ago, I was interviewing Raytheon’s CEO Bill Swanson for my new book.

Along the way, he shared a one of his habits with me that blew my mind: He empties his Inbox every day. No email goes unanswered. Moreover, he’s made himself available to most employees that need to voice concern or make suggestions. That is an impressive feat, I don’t know if I’ve ever emptied my email Inbox completely.

The reason he does that is because he considers it a part of professionalism and accountability. He’s probably right. By letting emails stack up, we prioritize some messages over others and often ignore some completely. If we commit ourselves to an empty Inbox, we may also recover our weekends as well as control over our email life. You can imagine that Bill gives tough love feedback to repeat email offenders that fill his Inbox will unnecessary information. If you adopt this policy, you may have to use Bill Jensen’s CLEAR system (read my post about it).

I’m going to attempt an empty Inbox for the next business week, which of course means that first I need to plow through about three dozen unanswered emails!

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