Business Tips

Don’t make these common email mistakes

Woman sitting at a table with headphones on while working on a laptop

The claim that email is going away or social media chat will replace it are unfounded.
Smart tech companies have just turned email into turbo-charged uber-collaboration systems with hyper linked team rooms and ultra-secure storage spaces …all available in the cloud.
Email, combined with all of the other cool stuff, is alive and well and it will be for a very long time. One reason email is not going away is the increase of social media and apps use. For the most part you can’t sign up to use a website service without an email address! Furthermore email, text and phone calls still make up 75% of work communications.
Since email (now on steroids) is still so widely used, it is good to practice email etiquette. Being a jerk on email could damage your reputation at work. Don’t feel you can get by with just IM.
Here are four email mistakes to avoid to boost your popularity with coworkers.
1. Sending correspondence to the wrong person due to similar first names
Have you ever sent an email to the wrong Katherine because you have 12 contacts in your address book with that name? Try to adjust the nicknames in the system. Slow down and double check the addressee before you hit “send.”
2. The always on automatic reply
Tired of answering email, you set your auto response to, “I get a lot of emails. I may not be able to respond to every one of them this week. So be patient.” That’s pretty annoying for your coworkers to receive especially many times in a row.
3. Replying with the same two words all of the time
You can do this once in a while but if that’s all you do, it could be quite bothersome. Suppose you replied to your underlings and peers, “Sounds great.” in the last five sets of email responses. The recipients may feel “dissed” figuring you do not think they matter.
4. The nonresponse
This one is the absolute worst crime in the Book of Collaboration Crimes. You just attended a meeting with a coworker and got along great. You send an email the next day: “I have an idea for so and so; what do you think?” or “Are you coming to the office party? Can you bring crudité?” But there is no answer. Ever.
In summary, how you deal with people online via social media, in team rooms and via email is just as important as how you communicate with them via phone or in person. For example, would you ever just stay totally quiet when a coworker asked you a question to your face? No. So don’t do it on email.

About the author

Michelle McIntyre

Blogger Michelle McIntyre, president of Michelle McIntyre Communications LLC, has worked, volunteered and thrived in the Silicon Valley tech community at small, medium and very large companies for more than 25 years. She has blogged for Huffington Post and was named VLAB Volunteer of the Year in 2017 and serves on the TEDxSanJoseCA Executive team. You can find her musings at @FromMichelle on Twitter.

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