Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Things NOT to do at work, #2.

Ever get an email that simpy says "see below," or something similar, and has several more emails attached below?  It's then left up to you to sort through all the previous emails and ferret out the point.    This has multiple glaring pitfalls.  First, it is communication by hint, and that leads to miscommunication.  Second, it devalues the time of the recipient since they have to spend their time figuring out what the sender wants them to glean from the chain of messages.  Third, it's basically rude in that it essentially says the the sender's time is more valuable than the recipient's.

Instead of writing "see below," take the time to tell the recipient what you want to communicate from the email chain, or at least point out the specific passage(s) you want them to focus on.  That will then give them the option of reading through the entire chain at their discretion to find context or other meaning.  And it shows that the sender respects the recipient's time.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Things NOT to do at work, #1

Be prepared to answer the phone, even when you've just started a new job.  Answering questions with things like, 'I don't know; I just started working here' or 'This is my first day, so, um, if you can hold on I'll see if I can find out' are terrible responses, both for you and for your new company.  It's important to realize that when you talk in a professional capacity to other people you are directly influencing your brand and your employer's brand.  When you use the just-started-working-here excuse up front you come across as trying to lower expectations to accommodate a subpar performance.  That's not the direction you want to go.

The direction you want to go is either, 1] anticipate and prepare for questions by doing some research in advance so you will actually know the answer, or 2] simply say something like, "Of course.  Give me a minute and I'll be right back to you," and then move heaven and earth to find out the answer asap.