In the age of the Internet, you might find yourself quick texting or emailing before even thinking about what you sent. It’s no secret; many experts say that this behavior has the potential to negatively affect your personal and professional career. Next time you send, reply, or forward a text or email, ask yourself twelve questions.
1. Have you introduced yourself?
Please don’t assume that the person you are texting or emailing knows you or remembers meeting you. More than likely, the person you are emailing is just as busy as you. So don’t make it a guessing game for the recipient when you send a text or email.
2. Is this a public or private matter?
It is very important to know if what you are texting is a public or private matter. I believe that everything we send electronically could possibly be public at some point. But if you are sending a pointed and private message to your boss, there are two good reasons why you need to be sure you are not copying others. One, your boss may not be happy with that type of behavior. And two, you may be embarrassed by the information within your message. If you believe it is a public matter, ask yourself if the message you are sending could be put on a company bulletin board. If you wouldn’t put this information on a public company bulletin board, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE think before clicking “send.”
3. Are you angry?
Know if you are angry before sending any message electronically because your anger could possibly be expressed in your message. There is a possibly you could set aside your anger and still draft a productive text or email. However, most of the time you want know if you have separated your emotions of anger until it is too late. You don’t want to find out you were angry through an email or text after you have lost an relationship, lost a job position, lost a customer, or burned some bridge you may need to cross later. So check your emotions before pressing the “send” button. Also keep in mind, it is inappropriate and unprofessional to email or text bad news, firing of a client or vendor, reprimanding of someone, or disparaging information concerning other people.
4. Would your mother or grandmother send this information?
It may sound crazy, but don’t send a message if your grandmother or mother would be appalled with your language or a picture you are sending. Remember anything sent electronically has a possibility of becoming public.
5. What is the appropriate timeframe in responding back to an individual?
Most emails and texts are not emergencies. However, on average the timeframe for responding back to someone who has emailed or texted you is about 24 to 48 hours. This all depends on the nature of the email or text and the urgency of the sender.
6. Have you explained yourself?
Make sure when you are sending a message that your message has details of what you would like to communicate to your reader. All emails aren’t important, but you don’t want your email or text to fall in someone else’s pile of worthless emails or texts because of poor content. It may not right, but poorly written content will keep readers from reading all of your content. Matter fact, the reader may just delete your email or text without reading it if you fail to explain your content well.
7. Are you sending annoying information?
This can happen intentionally or unintentionally. Avoid the use of emoticons, jargon, or slang in professional emails or texts. Also, you want to avoid messy messages, which includes excessive carets (>>>) or pages of unprotected e-mail addresses that weren’t protected using Bcc. These previous mentioned items are okay to do with your personal messages, but still can be annoying. I should also say with this point, avoid using excessive exclamation points. So before sending your message, clean up your message then send it. The last thing you want is to look less professional if you are sending professional messages.
Helpful Tip: Get rid of carets by selecting the text, Ctrl+F to use the Find and Replace command to find a caret and replace all of them with nothing. Get rid of all the unnecessary email addresses by using Bcc or deleting them if they are unnecessary in the body of your text.
8. Do you have a clear subject line that matches your content?
It is just as important to proof your subject line the same way you proof the content within your message. The subject of your email should be simple, descriptive, and straight to the point. It shouldn’t be tricky or obscure subject topic because that is an easy way to get an email trashed. People want to know what they reading before they read it.
9. Have you attached your attachments?
We’ve all received those emails informing us to open an attachment only to find no attachment attached. Along those same lines, it should be obvious to check to see if you are sending the right attachment.
10. Are you sending the message to the appropriate recipients?
Take just a few seconds before sending to check the recipients of your text or email. With our new age technology, many of our devices have these programs that use autocomplete. You type in a few letters and it will complete the rest for you. This is a feature used quite frequently with texting and emailing. If this program is enabled, make sure to recheck yourself and confirm that the right recipients are in the right fields.
11. Did you include a signature?
Your signature is a great way to let people know more about you. No one should ever have to search for your contact information after you have sent a message, especially an email. If you are connected with various social media platforms, include all your social media contact information as well. It is a great way to bring attention to you and your organization.
12. Is your email a reflection of you?
Anything we do in life is a reflection of who we are. Every message we send either adds to or devalues our reputation. If you are careless with sending your text or email messages, the recipient will be inclined to think you are a careless personally or professionally. Unfortunately, perception is reality whether it is true or not. These perceptions will either help boost your success or sabotage your possible future success.
Question: What are your thoughts? Leave your comments below.Peace and Prosperity, Bryant MTN Universal, LLC Be the wEiRd this world needs! Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook Follow us on Pinterest