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2006年8月23日 (水)

e-mailの効果的な使い方

In contrast to face-to-face communication,
where people can observe non-verbal cues,
communication through written correspondence
relies heavily on words to express meaning.

As Email and other internet-based technologies
like user groups have increased, this
increased reliance on words frequently results
in miscommunication.

In a company where I once worked, a training
workshop was offered to help sales staff
write clearer Email, which had become a
source of confusion and frustration.

To improve your Email communication, I
recommend the following guidelines.

(1) When involved in an exchange of Email
with a user group such as an entire sales
team, avoid repeated replies to long strings
of messages.

Rather, summarize the contents of the
messages to which you are responding.

Doing so spares recipients the time-consuming
task of re-reading others’ messages, which
may be confusing.

(2) Do not send out several separate emails
with instructions about or discussions of
the same topic.

Carefully think through all that you want to
say first, then compose one Email.

If you write several Emails, the recipients
may be confused about whether all of the
Emails are related to the same topic.

They may also have difficulty completely
comprehending or integrating instructions
appearing in several separate Emails.

(3) If Email exchanges lead to confusion or
result in misunderstanding, consider having
a face-to-face meeting, especially if
feelings have been hurt, or tempers have
flared.

(4) Avoid writing anything in an Email that
you would hesitate to say to a person during
a face-to-face encounter.

In other words, be polite when you use Email,
even if you are discussing and issue that has
upset you.

(5) Organize your Emails carefully.

Clearly indicate the topic of the Email in the
subject line.

In addition, include an introduction, body,
and conclusion, and use deductive logic to
explain your ideas.

(6) Use Email functions to highlight important
elements of your Emails.

Use bold or large fonts to underscore meeting
times and places, and underline or color-code
main ideas so they catch the readers’ eye.

Avoid using CAPITAL letters for emphasis,
because they are the written equivalent of
shouting at someone.

(7) Avoid excessive of flowery expressions
in English and keigo in Japanese in Emails
(and letters) to customers and business
partners.

Focus on expressing your ideas clearly and
politely rather than strictly observing
business formalities.

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