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Sunday, April 01, 2012

Avoiding "Angry" Business Messaging In A UC World

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March 31,2012

By Art Rosenberg

It is not just nice to communicate with people in any business activity, but it is even more important to communicate effectively and avoid damaging relationships because of careless communications. I was intrigued by a recent announcement of a book by Dona Young, a teacher and writing coach, entitled “Angry E-Mail; How To Put A Lid On It” because it was focused on business communications. I offered to review it because I wanted to see how the recommendations fit into a UC enabled environment.

Young’s practical approach to business email begins with making sure to immediately detail the purpose of the message at the start. Recipients of business email don’t have time for socializing small talk. After composing the message, Young recommends spending a few minutes editing it, to make the purpose very clear to the recipient(s) at a glance. Then cut out all the unnecessary information because “We’re living in a world that’s moving at warp speed. One of the things that irritates people is getting an email and then having to work really hard to figure out how to respond.”

Young’s book focuses heavily on message content, tone, and style that will not offend the recipient and will elicit a positive response. However she does stress the importance of “micromessages,” i.e., things that are unsaid in the message and any excessive delays in the response. All of these factors can impact the business relationship between the sender and the recipient of the message.

Although the book covers best practices for using email to communicate person-to-person, there is no mention of other forms of messaging technologies, including business social networking, or automated CEBP contacts. However, it does suggest that a phone call for a voice conversation may be more appropriate than an email message when delivering sensitive information. The role of email in a unified communications enabled environment is something that was not addressed, e.g., “click-to-call/chat” in response to an email message. In fact, Young recommends delaying sending an email response in order to insure that the response is well thought out.

So, perhaps Dona Young’s next book should be “Angry Unified Communications!”

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