Last week I was in Chicago visiting our main technology provider. I had a great day with these guys. At lunch one of them made a comment that made me rethink something I do all the time. So thanks Vishu. You have given me the 18th rule of email etiquette.
Last year I wrote a post called the 17 Rules of Email Etiquette. Before I give you the 18th rule, here is a recap of the other 17. These definitely bear repeating.
- DON’T USE ALL CAPS – just hard on the eyes, is it not?
- Sarcasm doesn’t translate
- Email is a poor medium for bad news
- Don’t reply all! – my company does this too much, and I’m falling into the habit. That ends now.
- Use property grammar (revision – I used property there instead of proper – kinda Freudian, no?)
- Use the spell check
- Re-read before you send
- Understand the permanence of email
- Don’t be a jerk
- Proofread your emails
- Keep your emails brief
- Don’t email angry – I did this last week and definitely regret it.
- Please don’t forward chain emails
- Refrain from using ‘high priority’ – if it is high priority, call.
- Craft an appropriate and descriptive subject
- Complete your signature
- Be pithy
18 – It is lazy to forward an email to someone else without your comments. How often do you forward an email with just a comment that says ‘See below…’ I do this all the time. When we do this we miss the opportunity frame the information and share our thoughts. If it is important enough to forward to someone else’s inbox, take the time to tell them why in your own words. Otherwise, they just have to guess.