When we’re busy, we’re very, very busy. We rely on our team to keep us up to date on their roles in event planning and management, but we don’t always have time for lengthy replies. For this reason, and because our team is spread out over several cities and states, we’ve instituted a monthly google hangout so we can have an hour to go over the previous month and talk about what we’re looking forward to in the next.
Watch Your Tone
It’s almost impossible to guarantee that the tone you intend will come across in brief written messages. It’s part of the reason text messages are littered with emoticons and facebook posts can now include “feeling” emoticons. I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to responding to an email with a quick, “Thanks, got it.” and I’d hate for anyone to ever read that as terse.
I recently read an article in LinkedIn that says I’m not alone. If we’re in too much of a hurry to respond politely and in a positive manner, we may make extra work for ourselves when we have to explain ourselves later. For this reason, we should all get in the habit of eliminating negative words from our emails and focus on the positive. Using great manners and positivity foster goodwill between employers and employees, and goes a long way in avoiding misunderstanding.
Another article in the Wall Street Journal suggests that for best results we write clear and concise subject lines and avoid combining topics in an email. The important thing is not to assume the worst. If you aren’t clear about the tone of an email, ask for clarification, or better yet, pick up the phone.
An Email Alternative
Many companies, especially those with virtual teams, are getting away from email altogether in favor of a new way to communicate called Slack. Michael Hyatt describes it here and says that he cut over 80% of his emails by using this system. In Slack you can set up channels of conversation for each aspect of your business or in our case for each event. It’s more like instant messaging than email, and flows more like a conversation. You can upload files, tag items to look at later, @mention people so they get notified that they have been included in the conversation. It is searchable in several ways and works on Android and iOS devices, so it seems like a great tool for busy teams on the go.
This is something we will be discussing at our next google hangout!
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