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  • What’s Irritating About E-mail?

    In recent years I’ve polled hundreds of people about their work in the digital age.
    This week, it’s what’s irritating about e-mail?

    When people:

    • Give no greeting or sign-off
    • Provide incomplete information
    • Send messages that have typos and poor punctuation and sentence structures
    • Put quotes or sayings in their signatures
    • Expect a reply in five minutes
    • Ask questions that can’t be answered in an e-mail and that require a phone call
    • Sound cold or inhuman
    • Write overly short, curt messages
    • Send long e-mails or send long e-mail chains that I have to go back into to get context while they write, “What do you think?”
    • Don’t reread their words to determine if the wrong unwritten message was sent
    • Send e-mails with mixed topics
    • Use subject lines that don’t reflect the e-mail’s content
    • Repeatedly put in the subject line “Please read” or “Urgent”
    • Don’t use the addressee’s name
    • Forward e-mails without asking
    • Don’t respond
    • Send something important via e-mail that deserves a phone call instead
    • Send an e-mail rather than having the courage to talk to me directly
    • Type with bold, caps, wild fonts, or red text
    • Sit close by but send an e-mail instead of getting up and stopping by my office to ask a question
    • Give one-word answers to complicated e-mails
    • Don’t bother to read the e-mail trail and respond blindly
    • Send long e-mails without paragraphing
    • Don’t include a phone number or any other optional contact information
    • Lazily hit Reply all when individual, targeted responses are necessary
    • Write in an emotional state
    • Take a tone in written form they’d never take in person
    • Write as if they were in an informal conversation instead of being engaged in business correspondence
    • Use abbreviations and emoticons

    Now that you are reminded, refrain from doing the above!

    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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