Online Newsletter for Call Center Personnel
Rosanne D'Ausilio, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Volume III, Issue 7

Date: July 1, 2002 - *The 10 Commandments of E-Mail - Part I

It's Monday morning when you power up your PC and find 183 e-mail messages waiting for you--most of them marked urgent. Apparently other folks have no life and spend their weekends dumping work on your virtual desk. You feel like you're the bottleneck in an information-flow conspiracy that's fast overwhelming you.

How do you cope? How do you sort out which e-mails can wait and which must be attended to? How do you learn what you need to learn--and forget what you can forget?

You've got a knowledge management problem. It's not that you don't have enough data; you have too much. It's the same story everywhere: we're all awash in information and we feel like we don't even have the time to separate the good from the bad, let alone read and absorb it all.

Cope by turning to the Ten Commandments--the e-mail commandments, that is.

1. Thou dost have several choices Perform triage. Scan the headers--delete everything you don't need to know or act upon. If you find yourself worrying excessively over what to say in an e-mail, maybe you should call, write a letter, walk down the hall and talk to the person. Maybe, just maybe, you shouldn't even respond at all.

2. Thou shalt never print thy e-mail If you print out your e-mail, it means that either you or the sender misunderstand the chief purpose of the medium--a substitute conversation, where the information being exchanged is not controversial.

When sending documents in draft form, or for information, keep them in electronic form. Better yet, avoid sending documents at all. An enormous amount of time and energy is wasted struggling with incompatible formats, files that never arrived, attachments that got garbled or stripped of the message, or the like. Instead, post necessary files on an intranet or Internet site that people who need the information can be directed to.

Next month: More commandments!

QUOTE OF THE MONTH: God gave us two ends. One to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use; heads, you win--tails, you lose. Anonymous

*paraphrased from The Ten Commandments of E-mail (Harvard Communications Update, March 1999, Volume 2, #3)

2002 Human Technologies Global, Inc.

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