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December 2005 - Email Etiquette—Part 3

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John Kline, PhD, inspirational and motivational keynote and after-dinner speaker and corporate trainer.December 2005

Email Etiquette—Part 3

Over the past two months I presented fourteen e-mail etiquette suggestions.  Here are seven more to complete the 21 item list.

  1. Don’t send or forward libelous, defamatory or offensive e-mails.  The reason for this suggestion is pretty obvious.  Libelous and defamatory e-mails can result in legal charges and offensive ones won’t make many friends and they put you in a bad light.  Even forwarding such things attaches your name to them.  Don’t do it.
  2. Don’t answer or send important e-mails when you are tired, angry, or in a hurry.  If you do write them during these times, don’t send them then.  Save them and have another look later when you are rested and in a better emotional state.  This will reduce the chance you say something you may later regret.
  3. Consider composing important responses or messages in Word, Notepad or some other form where you don’t mistakenly send them.  At least don’t put any addresses on messages until you are certain they are ready to send.
  4. Develop an orderly filing system for e-mail messages you wish to keep.  Most e-mail systems have an easy way to file messages without leaving them in your inbox.  Or you may wish to copy messages and place them in your “my documents” filing system. I file relevant e-mails in electronic folders for each customer or client of mine.
  5. Ensure attachments are attached and in a form that can be easily opened.  Most of us have been guilty of sending messages and forgetting to include the attachments.  But it’s just as bad to send an attachment that someone can’t open.  Use common formats for documents, PowerPoint slides, and photographs.
  6. Make certain you attach the right documents.  Mistakenly attaching the wrong document may be at best embarrassing and at worst harmful.
  7. Double check recipients’ addresses.  Make certain you have them right.
John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama

December 2005 - Email Etiquette—Part 3
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