Friday, May 30, 2008

Study Shows E-mail Ain't Going Away!

Wish as you may, wish as you might, email is here to stay...

At least that's what a recent study by Habeas sees. 67% of the respondents said they prefer email over other online vehicles, and 65% believe it will continue through 5 years. There's a great chart showing this in The Luon Blog that was offered by E-Marketer this week as well...

Very interesting to note that email was preferred much more significantly than any other medium, including websites (34%,) postal mail (35%,) voicemail (29%,) cell voice mail (12%,) and web meetings/videoconferencing (3%.) The survey respondents expected test messaging, videoconferncing and web meetings to grow in five years, but none of them expected the usage to be more than 20%.

Even the younger respondents, age 18-34, favor email business communications over IM and texting as the trend for business communication in the future.

Bottom line: E-mail is here to stay. It is growing. If you don't get a handle on how to manage it now, you're risking being left in the dust five years from now.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Are you Email Savvy? Try this fun assessment!

Wanna check your email "savviness?" Here's a quick 20 question assessment that you may find verrrrrrrry interrrresting!

It contains assessing questions like
...I close or minimize my email when I am not working on it

...My emails contain only one subject.

...My emails have very detailed subject lines.

Visit or click here for the link.

Where do you rate on the 100 point scale? Let us know!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Have you given too much power to your email?

How many times has your telephone rung while you were having dinner with your family? Some people answer it, some don’t. Some give the control of the moment to the ringing telephone, others take control and choose to let it ring, recognizing that the priority at that moment is the time spent with family. Which better describes you?

Just as some people feel compelled to answer the phone whenever it rings, others believe it is essential to respond to emails immediately upon receipt. Given all of the email you receive daily, perhaps it is difficult to tear your eyes away from the inbox, even when you’re supposed to be working on other matters. This reactive approach is not only unnecessary, but it is a description of a classic inefficient practice.

You can operate under the same principle when it comes to your inbox. Don’t allow yourself to be inconveniently sucked into time-wasting messages and exchanges that are not advancing a specific objective. Control the number of times you open your email during your workday. Make overt decisions regarding your responses and manage the tasks that come your way just like you would with any other work assignment. Analyze your priorities and choose to be or not to be interrupted.

Become proactive rather than reactive. Own your email, rather than allowing it exercise power over you. That means you decide:
· when you will check for new messages and when you will respond
· when and how email will fit into your daily plan
· when you will shut down your Blackberry or PDA
· what you will work on and when
· what sounds and reminders you will use or not use
Let go of a compulsion to respond to emails regardless of their importance. Let go of your assumptions that e-mails need to be responded to immediately. Let go of your checking your computer screen every 10 minutes for newfound treasure.

Decide who owns your email! Decide that it is you!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

There's something more than "No Email Fridays"

Some well known, large companies have declared Fridays as the day when email may NOT be used. Its intention is to force dialogue.

When I think about companies declaring “No E-mail Fridays" it affirmed for me one of the biggest misuses or misunderstandings about email is that people actually think it can replace dialogue!

E-mail is not dialogue. We can't read the recipient's understanding or body language. We can't see whether they agree with us or not. We can't have a group discussion or brainstorm an idea. In the end, many times, emailers spend more overall time fixing a misread or misunderstood e-mail, trying to collect multiple opinions shared via e-mail, or settling down emotional or angry recipients.

It is a sad consequence that companies are having to institute actual programs like “no email Fridays” to force people to dialogue. It is symptomatic of the growing trend of people relying too heavily on e-mail for ALL their communications.

While email free days are a great way bring home to workers the benefit of interpersonal communications, this shouldn’t be a one day thing.

Companies need to start creating a culture on how it handles e-mail. It’s needs to be seen as a tool for the efficient sharing and exchange of impersonal information. And as soon as we determine that dialogue is needed, employees need to pick up the phone, call a meeting, or make a visit. In short, anything benefitting from dialogue should be done with lips rather than fingers—EVERY day of the week—not just Fridays.