Email has become a stressful part of life and has even been linked to health issues. Although it may have some negative side effects, email is often the best form of communication at school, work and other professional arenas. Communication is a key component of leadership so being email savvy is an important skill. In order to make email work for you here are the best tips for leaders:
- Create two email accounts – One email address should be used to sign up for things such as newsletters, website accounts, sweepstakes, social media, online shopping, etc. The other address should be given out to people in your network: chapter members, school, volunteers, co-workers, other groups or organizations you are a part of and friends and family. This system allows you to quickly decipher which messages are important or need a response and what can wait until later or immediately be sent to the trash.
- Don’t be afraid to use the phone – Just because email is easy doesn’t always mean it is the best form of communication. Knowing when picking up the phone is the better option is one way to become a strong communicator.
- Set your automatic reply for an extra day – After you have been gone from school or work for a period of time it isn’t unusual to come back to an overflowing inbox. To keep your email stress-levels low set your automatic reply to stay on for an extra day so that no one is anticipating hearing from you the moment you return. This gives you a day to sort through your inbox and prioritize your email.
- Avoid sending TLDNR emails – Email has become the preferred method of communication because it is fast and easy. Do your best to keep it that way. The latest trendy acronym to hit the internet is TLDNR or “too long did not read.” You can click here for a few tips on keeping your emails brief.
- Put your subject line to good use – Using a generic subject line is the fastest way to ensure your email is left unread. Subject lines should contain 100 less characters than a tweet and never be in all caps. Use your subject line as a call to action, if you need a response or are requesting a task be complete make sure your subject line reflects those needs such as, “Response required by noon Thursday.”