Emails should be used after the more traditional verbal forms of communication have been exhausted. Giving bespoke feedback is important to me, and in my experience the best and effective feedback process is usually verbal. Face to face interaction is a dying art in the digital age. In the financial services profession top employers are increasingly putting a premium on these soft communication skills.
Email technology is more than 40 years old. It is an outdated technology that is the easiest way for hackers to access our information. Furthermore, email content can get lost in translation leading to more misunderstanding rather than clarity.
Unfortunately, I am still forced to communicate extensively using emails. I usually respond to them quickly and efficiently. I only respond to emails written in an appropriate manner. I use messaging technology as a means to interact with people more effectively and securely. I don’t like (or respond to) emails written in messaging format.
Recently I received this email from a student:
Some of the slides that you used in the lecture today aren’t in the slides up on QOL. Are you going to put up an updated version of them ?
Email etiquette is important, and will become more important as you move away from university into the workforce. Click here for some guidance on email etiquette.
Here’s a sample of the type of email I like to receive:
Subject line: I’d like you to do/say/write/explain something/meet me/clear something up/etc
Body: Hi Barry,
I am emailing you because….
Subject: A clear, concise and answerable query. I will not reply to general statements that waffle on, so get to the point!
There is no excuse for poorly worded emails and as such I will just NOT REPLY to any that aren’t written in a concise, respectful and professional manner.
This is my communication policy for effective student feedback. In return, I promise to apply the same courtesy to you. Note that I will not reply to queries where I am repeating information I have already provided. For example, information contained in teaching resources uploaded to a student portal.