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Can I be candid with you? I don’t read all of every email I receive. I’m not even talking about forwards of cute stories that get mass emailed. I almost never read those. I’m talking about informational emails. The emails which have information in them I probably need. I don’t often absorb all of it.
As pastor, I often received hundreds of emails everyday. Many times I am one of many recipients. I know it’s probably vital information. You wouldn’t send it to me unless you wanted me to read it, right? But, if I want to be effective at all, I simply can’t digest everything in an extremely long, detailed email. Sometimes, I have to email back and ask for a summary.
So, what can we do about it?
I could tell you I’ll change. I’ll bite the bullet and read all longer than necessary emails, but the truth is I probably won’t. History proves otherwise. Plus, there are only so many hours in every day. Show me more than a few paragraphs and I’m probably out of here. Again, time simply won’t allow it.
Email - Time - Meeting - Email - Means
Frankly, sometimes when the email gets too long it’s time to have a meeting. But when email is the only practical means, ultimately, we have to write better emails.
Let me give you a few suggestions.
Staff - Members - ? - Detail - ?
And I should tell you, I’ve given these to staff members who write really long – packed with detail – emails. They need their teams to absorb lots of details. Some have taken my advice and learned it actually increased their communication results. People seemed to more closely read their emails. They actually appeared to know more of the details the person emailing was trying to communicate. And, isn’t that the goal?
Here are 5 suggestions for better emails:
An email written just to me is...
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