Communication can be tough in the age of email.
Poorly written emails (or responses) with missing details or incomplete thoughts often lead to additional emails for clarification, which makes more work in the long run. So, here are a few quick tips to keep your communication flowing!
TIP #1: Fill in the gaps
Always remember that the person receiving your email cannot read your mind. When you write, add in a bit more detail to help close the gaps so the reader can see and hear what you are intending.
One way to do this is to re-read your email and ask yourself, "will they know what this means" or, "will they read this the way I intended"?
TIP #2: Limit Your Options
If you are setting up a time or place to meet, limit your options. While we all want to be accommodating, too many options actually hurt your communication. It is hard for the recipient to pick from a list of seven dates/times and four restaurants. Instead, give three options for dates/times and two restaurants. This will shorten the emails needed to make a plan!
Bonus: if you receive an email giving a date/time and location that works for you - DON'T email them back, just create the invitation, and you're done!
TIP #3 Respond to ALL the questions
One of the most difficult emails to receive is the one where only a portion of the questions are answered. When this happens, additional emails are needed for clarification which is time-consuming and inefficient.
Before you hit send, go back and scan the email. Did you answer all of the questions?
On the flip side, if you are asking questions, are they clear? Are you asking too many questions? Can you make your questions stand out (bullet list, numbered) for the reader so they know exactly what you need?
The goal of all communication is that the speaker and hearer understand the same message. Writing a great email will save you time, misunderstandings, and missed opportunities. Give your future self back some time and write a great email the first time.
Bonus tip...If you are having trouble communicating or are trying to tackle a more complex topic, pick up the phone! The clarity that can come from a five minutes phone call can replace 45 minutes' worth of email writing. Try it. You'll like it.
Amy is a small business coach with Amy Lynne Coaching. She loves to help entrepreneurs, solos, freelancers and small business owners reach their dreams. While located in the beautiful Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul, MN Amy works with people all over the world thanks to the magic of the internet.
Interested in learning more? Schedule a 30-minute call with Amy here!