Added Value In Email Conversations

Added Value In Email Conversations

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I assume that every day you receive enough emails which rise the only one question in your mind: “And… what?”

In most cases such emails could be labeled like “no added value” and usually they are sent by people who either not mature enough or who would like to manipulate you somehow.

Here are the several examples of annoying emails:

Spam email

  • Leaving open questions without any proposal or a decision
  • No” without any explanations
  • This is not my responsibility” without any hint regarding a right responsible person
  • Throwing a problem statement as a fact, without any context
  • Messages like “Take care about this”, “See below” or “FYI” with a long communication tail below
  • Unclear task statements that might have more than one interpretation

Is there any solution to avoid or decrease the number of bad emails?

The rational decision could be moving to spam and ignore such messages. Yet, the worst case is to do like this and leave everything as is. Instead of focusing on task execution you again and again will be involved in discussions that just waste your time.

Instead, it is seen the following options:

    • Own example
    • Training
    • One to one conversations
    • Escalation. Could be done in a different way but I like to answer with following pattern “It would be great if you send your message/response in the following way in the future”, cc-ing his or her boss.

The last point obviously should be used rarely, when the person rejects any attempts to make things better.

Even though such measures take a lot of your time, they will save your time in the future, which could be considered like a quite good investment.

Some people can object that such emails are the usual thing in the context of task management and being a trigger for so-called “clarification of details” conversations. As for me, it’s just a waste of time and I’m not sure if this is affordable in the modern world of multitasking and tight deadlines.

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