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Bob Hallewell, Expert Messaging
Bob has a background in IT, training, psychology and likes collecting communication skills. He has focused on how organisations use email for the last 12 years, and his aim is to build a revolution in how we’re all using email.
People hate email, but isn’t that just because it contains work for them to do? Isn’t doing those tasks their job?
Yes - doing the tasks is the job not doing the email. Email should be transparent. What people don’t like is not so much the email as the volume, the nonsense and the lack of clarity (or the stress, the interruptions - shall I keep going?)
Social software vendors like to tell us email is dead, but as long as clients and potential clients are sending me messages it will be alive and well in my organization. Given the fact that paper mail and faxes are still sent, email isn’t going anywhere for awhile.
If we’re all on the same platform we can use social media. If we’re not, we’ll probably still be using email. Even in the company Atos - while there has been a lot of press about banning email, they are only talking about internal email. They’ll still be using email with the outside world.
How do you decide what tool to use?
Goal (Have a goal)
Recipient (What’s going on for the recipient)
Output Medium - is this broadcast or conversation?
How do you break someone of bad habits?
You have to set a good example and give them feedback. If someone sends you emails you don’t need - and you just delete them, they will carry on sending them. They need to know “Please stop sending me these”
What are the best practices?
Put more effort into the subject line - think of what you want the other person to do and phrase your subject that way - “Please answer three questions on implementation [action]”
What are the most frequent mistakes people make with email?
They think the way they do it is the right way. There is no right or wrong way as long as you’re both doing it the same way. Develop rapport.
In Qatar - people from 52 countries - English is the standard language for email - very formal
Scandinavians can appear to be direct. Either they have a long way to say “please” or they don’t bother. In their own language it’s perfectly acceptable to say “Do this. Bring that here.” English can be overly polite. Scandinavians can seem aggressive to English. English can seem long-winded to Scandinavians. They are both right (and both wrong).
What rules do you personally have for email?
Double check the subject line
Match the greeting to the other person
What resistance do you encounter in trying to get clients to work better with email?
First group think they know about email already.
Understand you are working with addicts.
For clients with IM and social in addition to email, how do email usage patterns change?
We should see patterns change away from broadcast emails and use of other media - but I’ve seen no firm data yet
What results have clients seen after having you present?
Time saved (typically 47 minutes each per day)
Less traffic (CCs down 31%)
Less stress (down 67%)
97% recommend the session
Give me an hour, I’ll give you a month
Bob’s presentation at Social Connections II -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsvxzDKitTg
If you’re interested in building the revolution in your area, please get in touch
+44 (0)20 7633 0050
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