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  • Steve Dotto here. Thanks for joining me today. Actually today is the first demo that I’m

  • shooting with my new lighting setup so I hope that everybody likes the color of Steve a

  • little bit better today. I hope I look a little bit better.

  • We have a very serious topic to discuss today, one of my favorite topics, dealing with email

  • overload. Anybody who follows this channel knows that I have a real thing about the productivity

  • lost and the stress gained from not having control of our email. Today, were going

  • to talk about that not from a prospective of technology. Weve looked at a lot of

  • the different pieces of technology in the past but today I wanna spend a little

  • bit of time and chat with you about what we can do in our email and how we address it

  • and how we actually manage it procedurally in order to a) reduce the amount of email

  • overload and amount of stress; but b) also to increase the chance that an email will

  • properly be acted on, that it will become an asset to the conversation, to the project

  • as we move ahead and not be become an impediment to others and to ourselves.

  • So the first thing that I wanted to talk about is those darned addressing fields.

  • Obviously To, CC and BCC are there for a reason and they all have their place but using them

  • properly is a very important thing. So number one is if you are the primary recipient of

  • an email in the To field, you have a responsibility to act on that email.

  • Now if you are CCed in an email, you have no responsibility to respond whatsoever. You

  • only have the responsibility to audit it and see exactly what’s happening and then just

  • basically audit it. If youre in the BCC field, a) you should first of all question

  • why youre in BCC. If it’s interoffice communication and somebody is basically copying

  • you so that nobody else knows that youre aware, well that carries all sorts of extra

  • social dilemma, doesn’t it? So I think personally that’s a very bad idea.

  • Now we all use BCC. I use it with my mail lists when I’m sending out to a small group

  • of people that are say, involved in a course and I don’t really want to share anybody’s

  • email address with everybody else. That’s the purpose of BCC, not to be nefarious and

  • to hide the fact that youre telling your boss or youre telling a coworker, including

  • them in a conversation so they can be a voyeur in that conversation. So be very careful about

  • how you use that. It could come back to haunt you.

  • Now as mentioned, the To and the CC fields are really your responsibility to respond

  • but you can also make sure that you pay attention to it as youre addressing the email. Don’t

  • send to people in the To address if they don’t need to respond. They don’t have to be included.

  • Send it to the primary person and then CC everybody else so that they don’t feel a

  • responsibility to reply. When you get an email that you have no responsibility to reply to,

  • if youre in the CC field, don’t just send back a comment, “Got it,” “Okay,”

  • Thanks.” No need to be polite. That just adds to the volume of email in everybody’s

  • inbox. You can just dispense with that immediately. The next thing I want to talk about is the

  • subject field which is the most powerful tool we have as far as making sure that email is

  • properly processed and handled. Now I rely for a lot of my thoughts on email on a woman

  • named Carol Sutherland. She teaches courses on email management, productivity and team

  • management here in Vancouver. I’m going to have a link to her site at Sutherland Consulting

  • but she did a series of seminars with me where she taught people about developing an email

  • chart within the company and a lot of what I’m saying today, I’m just parroting the

  • things that Carol taught me around how we manage email especially within an enterprise

  • and within a group. If you want to go straight to the source, I will have links to Carol’s

  • information as we go along. But for now, let me paraphrase what she says

  • about the subject matter because this is really important. If youre expecting somebody

  • to act on an email, put it on the subject line. She recommends putting it right at the

  • front of the subject line. I don’t care if you put it at the front of the subject

  • or at the end of the subject but if I’m expecting you to do something and I’m writing

  • an email to you, if I putAction Requiredright there at the front of the email, you

  • know that action is required whether it’s at the front or the back. If I putBy Thursday

  • or by a date, then you know even more that you have a responsibility to do that.

  • If you see this in your inbox, you can’t ignore this. You are going to recognize the

  • fact that you have a responsibility to act and to react to the email. This clarity, this

  • not having people infer from the subject matter but giving them clear directions and clear

  • instructions in the subject line is a great method for increasing your venture’s productivity.

  • Then let’s talk about the actual body of the email itself. Carol recommends if it’s

  • a long email, if it’s more than a paragraph or two, to summarize exactly what’s happening

  • in the very first paragraph, in the first few lines, especially if youve CCed

  • a lot of people. Theyre able to then read the summary. They don’t have to waste time

  • on the body. That’s a good practice as well. Additionally if there is action required,

  • make sure that the last thing you say in the email is the action which is required stated

  • clearly. Don’t be nebulous about it. Don’t say, “What do you think? Is this a good

  • idea? Thoughts?” “Thoughts?” is a terrible way to end an email because if I’m reading

  • that email, I think that you want something back from me and now I’m noodling, trying

  • to figure out exactly what my thoughts are on it. Instead, you can say, “Steve, can

  • you please reply to this person by this date with this information and let me know that

  • youve done that.” Very clear instructions. Then I know exactly what I have to do and

  • I can proceed. This kind of clarity, this kind of decisiveness, is a real benefit to

  • moving the ball further downfield in any project that youre working on.

  • Allow me to summarize some best practices you might decide to participate in if you

  • want to improve the communication value of the email going out from your desktop. Number

  • one, only address email in the To field to people who have to respond. Be clear about

  • what the response you expect is. If it’s for information only, typeFor information

  • only.” If they need to reply to you by a certain date, say, “Action required by (certain

  • date).” Be clear and concise about what you expect from an email right in the subject

  • line. In the CC field, only copy people who should

  • be auditing and not the cover-your-ass emails that so many people send that basically look

  • like youre busy. Don’t do that. Thirdly, as far as the BCC field, use that sparingly

  • and don’t use it to kind of cloak activities so that people can voyeuristically view email.

  • In the body of the email itself, if it’s a long email summarize it in the first paragraph

  • so that people who are just auditing the email can get on with their day more quickly. At

  • the end of your email, make sure that you are clear about what action you expect from

  • the email and don’t be airy-fairy. Don’t sayThoughts?” or any of those sorts

  • of things. If you start to act with your email this way,

  • perhaps others in your organization will follow suit and your life will become easier as well

  • as people start to send you clear instructions. But regardless, youre going to benefit

  • because you are going to be clear and decisive and youre going to take a real leadership

  • position in every communication that you embark on. If you are in an organization that is

  • thinking about this system-wide, find somebody like Carol Sutherland who comes in, takes

  • a look at your email system within your entire venture and then gives you a program that

  • teaches everybody how to get on the same page and handle email in the same way, which just

  • basically moves the whole enterprise ahead that much more effectively.

  • I hope you found this video today to be an effective use of your time. Please subscribe

  • to our channel. You know we are on a journey to 100,000 subscribers and you are an integral

  • part of that. I appreciate you subscribing, plus you get the benefit of seeing our videos

  • as soon as theyre released when you subscribe. I’m Steve Dotto. Thanks for spending time

  • with me today.

Steve Dotto here. Thanks for joining me today. Actually today is the first demo that I’m

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A2 US email responsibility subject carol field required

Email Power Tips - Effective Email Management

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    Zenn posted on 2014/10/14
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