Thursday, October 23, 2008

Email Etiquette tip: Save the jokes for your personal e-mail

We all know the person who continually shares many jokes daily with his or her group list. Most people “ugh” when they see these come through, especially when they’re trying to sift through their 100 other e-mails.

With so many people getting so much e-mail in their business day, the last thing colleagues and others need is another e-mail to open and to read. Rest assured that when your coworkers access their personal e-mail accounts, they will find enough uplifting jokes and inspirational messages there. Respect your recipient, and respect your business: stop with the personal stuff!

I can almost hear the groans when people open and read either a joke or an inspirational message that closes with the usual “Send this to 10 extraordinary human beings within the next 24 hours, or else..."

One of the frequent questions we receive from clients has to do with e-mail jokes and forwarded messages. “How can you tell one of your dearest friends that you really don't need to see the jokes or inspirational messages they send daily to their ever growing group joke list? You surely don't want to hurt the person or lose a friend.”

Here is one suggestion. Remember, the issue is best handled in person rather than by e-mail. Find a time when you are having a friendly conversation either in person or over the telephone, because an e-mail will most likely be hurtful. Be direct; say “it would be great if you could send me only your very best e-mails, because I am inundated with e-mail, though I could definitely use an uplifting message once or twice a week.”

Another solution is to create a separate personal joke email account, i.e., and ask your joking friends to send all future jokes to that account. You can then access it when you need a laugh, rather than to have to deal with it as part of your business inbox.

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