I have never quite understood why the emails I get are so sloppy.
I fully realize and accept that most people don’t type 90 words a minute like I do. Still, even if you only hunt and peck, it is my honest advice to you that you make an effort to spell words correctly and to check your sentence construction to ensure that EVERY message you are sending will be well received.
Do all messages matter, you might ask? I would argue that they do. The truth is that you may send hundreds of messages out each week, but if you stop and think about it, I may only get ONE of those messages.
For me, everything I know about you is in that one message. Assuming I don’t really know you, I have no other communications from you that I can “average” into the equation. Do you know how to spell? Do you know how to compose a sentence and communicate a message? Does your message, including your outgoing signature convey a sense of precision?
How do I measure precision? I look at every aspect of your message. I start at the top. Does the “From” box show your name properly? Is it shown as “george murphy, George murphy, or george Murphy,” all of which are wrong. Or, is it shown as “George Murphy,” and when I look at your email address is it uppercased and lowercased as well? If it is, you get extra points. While [email protected] is perfect, I can accept [email protected].
If you insist on writing to folks from your iPhone or other smart phone, please don’t think anyone receiving your messages will be forgiving just because you let them know you are writing from a smart phone. If you need to send an important message, either take the time to write it out or wait until you get to a full keyboard.
Subjects are VERY important. Many messages I get don’t have one, or they have all the same typos and spelling errors found in the body of the message. Why is the title important you might ask? Well, it gives me a hint of whether your message is important and it helps me know why you are writing to me.
While I hope you find the few examples above helpful, let me not digress too far from the primary issue which is not only to put your best foot forward at all times, but also to develop a mental attitude about the importance of precision in your communications.
Mental discipline consistently applied, no matter how unimportant you may feel a particular piece of communication is at the moment, will ensure that when you do sit to compose what you KNOW to be an important message, that you will get it right.
Anything you do a lot of you will get better at. If you make an honest attempt to make your casual messages correct, you will find it that much easier to get it right all the time.
In the world of business, there is no such thing as an unimportant person OR an unimportant message. Consider everything that leaves your desk as practice for the big event.
And, you never know WHO will lead you to that big event, so it can’t hurt to try to impress everyone, including me.