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Question from a listener:
I have a question for you about email. At work we communicate a lot of important information through email, but I find that when I send out an email to my team that is longer than a couple of sentences, many do not read the entire email. There are times when I need to get information out quickly and do not have time hold a meeting or conference call. How would you recommend I construct an email to encourage the reader to read the entire message? I use bold, italics, underlining, and color to try to bring attention to the main points, but I’d really like them to read the whole message.
Here are some ways on how to get people information they need:
- Use an internal website or wiki, or utilize a third party product like Confluence or Slack.
- Does the update need to be daily? Could it be just a few times a week?
- Avoid being the single point of failure – have a system multiple people can edit or populate.
- Retrain people on where to find information.
If it does need to be by email, here’s a few suggestions:
- Use utility subject lines, such as, “Numbers you’re customers will be asking about today, Tuesday the 26th.
- Get creative and funny (try a top ten list!)
- Be extremely brief
The less email you send, the more likely people will be to read it. Otherwise, it’s noise.