E-Mail as a Communication Tool by Joseph Tramontana
This post deals with using E-Mail as an effective communication tool. A former supervisor of mine never responded to an e-mail in the ten years I worked with him. I use to think that it was crazy. I mean we live in a technological world, and everyone uses email, right? It is a fast method of communication in a world where things need to be done yesterday. Every complex and politically sensitive issue was communicated face to face.
He may have been right in many ways. It has been proven time and time again that every E-Mail can be retrieved and once you hit the send button it is a permanent document. If you reply in writing make sure it is something you are comfortable with and you do not mind the whole world reading it, because that is what can happen.
E-Mail does have its uses though and can be a valuable tool if used appropriately. I do not recommend shutting it down totally. The best advice when someone sends you a serious E-Mail related to your work is to step back and reflect, especially if it makes you angry. If you respond immediately, more times than not you will regret it. If the e-mail is serious and time sensitive just acknowledge it. “Hey got it will get back to you.” If the issue is urgent, the ideal setting is a face to face meeting or the second best choice is a phone call.
The best use of the E-Mail process is setting up appointments or meetings with various clients. It can be a great time saver as opposed to calling everyone on the telephone. Another great use of E-Mail is to transmit business documents such as spreadsheets to various parties in preparation for meetings. Serious topics deserve serious attention and do not have a place in the E-mail chain; they need to be discussed face to face. Even more problematic is the potential to be put something in writing you will later regret and once you hit the send button you can never take it back. These are some of the best ways to use E-Mail as a communication tool.