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Business Communication

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  1. Business Communication E-mail Effectiveness

  2. Today, we will look at • Choosing the appropriate communication method for the message you want to send • Writing an effective e-mail • Managing your inbox • Understanding basic legal requirements surrounding e-mail use and retention

  3. E-mail Statistics • E-mail users receive on average 34 emails per day • These users are sending on average 25 e-mails every day

  4. E-mail Statistics • Only about a third of all e-mails are originated by the sender. Mostly people are just commenting on or adding to someone else’s message • 72% of e-mail users spend at least one hour every day on email

  5. E-mail Statistics • For the vast majority e-mail is not their job: it’s a means to an end. E-mail is supposed to be helping them do their job, rather than becoming a chore that gets in the way of them achieving their work goals

  6. E-mail Statistics • 10% demonstrate a real addiction to the medium • 77% of people check e-mail compulsively • 36% of people admit sending an e-mail instead of talking to someone

  7. E-mail Statistics • People are hoarding on average 2769 e-mails each “just in case.” The vast majority of these messages will never be looked at again • E-mail is in the top 10 causes of stress at work

  8. What do you like about e-mail? What do you dislike about e-mail?

  9. Choosing the Medium Meetings, Memos, and E-mails

  10. Choosing Your Medium • Determine what you are trying to accomplish with your communication • Which medium accomplishes your goal • In general, respond in the same medium as the sender • Things to remember about e-mail • Should be for routine correspondence – not emergency correspondence • It’s a medium for requesting action

  11. Choosing the MediumPractice

  12. E-mail Advantages • Productivity tool • Easy mail management • Contents, time, costs • Communicate with multiple people • Access anywhere, anytime

  13. Subject lines • Core statements • Formatting • E-mail etiquette Writing an Effective E-mail

  14. Subject Line • This is your grabber – don’t leave it blank! • Be specific • No need for a complete sentence • Use clarifiers • Make sure it matches the content • Unsure? Write it after the message has been composed

  15. Core Statements • Communicate your purpose for writing • Effective core statements: • Are concise and specific • State the action needed first, especially if the e-mail must be longer than one page

  16. Core Statements • Other ways to ensure an effective core statement • Use the subject line if the message is really short • Staff meeting has moved to Room 207 • Stick to one or two points per e-mail • Actually better to send 10 short e-mails than one long one

  17. Formatting • Minimal • Plain text users • Avoid using bold or underline • Use italics for titles only • Use bullet lists and/or numbered lists • Helps the reader process chunks of information

  18. Questions?

  19. E-mail Etiquette • Respond to e-mails within 24 hours • Answer all questions – even implied ones • Avoid using any of the following: • All capital letters • All lower-case letters • Lingo • Abbreviations (acronyms are appropriate when properly explained)

  20. E-mail Etiquette • Avoid all of the following: • Using delivery and read receipts • Replying to all—all the time! • Calling after sending an e-mail • Recalling a message • Hard to read fonts or colors • Personal quotes

  21. E-mail Etiquette • The Cc field (carbon copy) is for people you want to know about the message, but are not directly involved. • It's primarily for people that do not need to act or reply to the message, but to keep them informed.

  22. E-mail Etiquette • The Bcc field (blind carbon copy) is used when you want other people to receive the message, but you don't want the other recipients to know they got it. • Useful when sending a message to a large number of recipients • Not to be used as a spying device

  23. E-mail Etiquette • Always proofread your e-mail “If a emale is writon with speelingmestakes and gramitckal errors, you mite git the meening, however, the messige is not as affective, or smoothly redable”

  24. E-mail Etiquette • Use greetings and signatures when appropriate • Utilize out of office function when away or on vacation • Announce large files before sending to recipients • Always include a friendly or personal comment when forwarding messages

  25. E-mail Etiquette • Use a professional and polite tone • Beware of using e-mail casually • As a general rule, do not write anything in an email that you wouldn’t feel comfortable saying in a crowded elevator • Thank you e-mails make a difference

  26. Writing an Effective E-mailPractice

  27. Example #1 Subject: Computer Class Offerings for Spring 2012 Hello, Please send me a list and associated costs of the computer courses you are offering for Spring 2012. Thank you, Jamie Cooke

  28. Example #2 Subject: Budget Proposal Review Bob, I reviewed the budget proposal you sent last week. I was pleased to see funds for recruitment again this year but am concerned about the budget reduction to eliminate our computer coordinator. Can we meet this afternoon at 2pm to discuss this potential reduction? Thank you, Jamie

  29. Example #2 Subject: Assistance when computer issues arise Bob, I depend on our computer coordinator to assist when my computer malfunctions. If we do eliminate the computer coordinator position, who will assist in the future? Thank you, Jamie

  30. Example #3 Subject: Annual Report Review – Deadline Thursday, June 14 Hello, Please review the annual report (attached) and send your comments and suggestions to me by Thursday, June 14. Thank you for your time, Jamie

  31. Example #4 Subject: Division Party – Ideas Needed Hi everyone, The annual division party is scheduled for next month. I am on the committee and want to hear your ideas to help make this a fun event. Please send your ideas to me by Monday so we can begin planning for a great time! Thank you so much, Jamie

  32. Managing Your Inbox • Start (and keep) a routine • Use Outlook (or other e-mail program) to help manage time spent on e-mail • Use the LIFO method • 4D’s strategy

  33. Start (and keep) a Routine • Examples of a routine you can start • Check e-mail only 4 times a day • Start small – only check every 30 minutes, then every 60 minutes, then 90 minutes • Devote the first hour of the workday to something other than e-mail • The day before, determine what task you would most like to accomplish for that day But I have to check e-mail first thing in the morning…

  34. Start (and keep) a Routine • When checking and answering e-mails, use the two-minute rule • If you can complete the task in two minutes, do it now • If the e-mail needs more time for thought and action, move it to a folder and handle it later

  35. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail • Turn off the notification alarms • Schedule e-mail time in your calendar You should determine when you will be interrupted.

  36. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail

  37. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail • Sort e-mails by subject or sender to prioritize • If you don’t know the sender and the subject line isn’t interesting…ignore it or delete it

  38. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail • Create and use folders • Use narrow subject • Name them so they make sense to you • Read Later, Newsletters, Respond Today • Set archive parameters by folder • Create rules

  39. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail • Using colors

  40. Use Outlook to Help Manage Time Spent on E-mail • Create templates for responding to frequently asked questions • Directions, product information, reminder notices

  41. Outlook Help • Lynda.com • Online software training • http://www.it.ufl.edu/training/ • Microsoft Office Online Help • http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/support/microsoft-outlook-training-guide-FX103672390.aspx

  42. UF IT Certification website • Online training for many IT-related programs • http://www.it.ufl.edu/training/tlc/certification.html

  43. Last In, First Out (LIFO) • Answer the most recent e-mails in your Inbox first • After you prioritize and answer e-mails by subject or sender • Ensures that some of your e-mails get a timely response • Your response to older e-mails is already “less timely”

  44. Last In, First Out (LIFO) • Use LIFO as an overall strategy or in either of the following situations: • You have multiple e-mails from the same person • You have multiple e-mails with the same subject line

  45. 4 D’s Strategy • Delete it • Do it • Delegate it • Defer it

  46. 4 D’s-Delete it • Does the message relate to a significant objective you’re currently working on? • Does the message contain information you could find elsewhere?

  47. 4 D’s-Delete it • Will you refer to the message in the next 3 months? • Does the message contain information you are required to keep? Schedule monthly “cleanup” time End of the day-delete the unnecessary e-mails

  48. 4 D’s-Do it • Remember the two-minute rule • 1/3 of messages can be responded to in less than two minutes

  49. 4 D’s-Delegate it • If the message cannot be deleted or completed in less than two minutes • Can someone else handle it? • If so, forward right away