When engaging you coworkers, learn which method of communication they prefer (email, phone, text, face-to-face) and try to utilize their preference. Many people prefer mail since it allows them to keep a written record and some people despise email for the very same reason. Email is not always the best method, a phone call might be quicker in the long run.
Since email is usually the standard, try these four helpful email tips:
- Always make sure the subject line is helpful (“question about ComEd payment” and not “question”) and keep the email as concise and on-topic as possible. The subject line is not a part of the body of the email and any important information should be repeated in the body.
- Leave people out of emails/meeting requests if they don’t need to attend or be kept in the loop on the topic, so they won’t see your emails as meaningless spam.
- If you bring others into a conversation, let them know why; don’t just CC them on a huge email chain. You might say, “Rich, I’m including you because you have some good insights on credit card processing and I would like to get your input.”
- Don’t reply to previous emails to start a new conversation unless it has some bearing on the current topic.
Sometimes we don’t get the results we need from coworkers. Emails and voicemails may seem to go ignored. Think before banging out an angry email and carbon copying someone’s manager, this latter tactic can be a disaster for friendly relations. Maybe it would make more sense to politely ask your coworker in person about the issue? They may be too tied up to check messages and can refer you to another resource in the company. Unless you have a clear-cut reason to assume someone is blowing you off, give them the benefit of the doubt.