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To Whose Attention

by Mark McClanahan

No one can dispute that the speed of communication has dramatically increased because of technological advances. With posting, liking, tweeting, snapping, texting, emailing and so on, we fire off communications at breakneck speeds. Sometimes the communication is a dialogue, and sometimes it’s sharing or shouting a one-way point of view, especially on social media.

This article, though, is not about social media. It’s about what all of these advances, including social media, have done to our ability to communicate effectively. We have become lazy because of these advances.

Today I have one tip for business leaders and professionals. A tip that will increase the speed of understanding in communication. The tip is about emailing.

I regularly receive group emails and am confused as to who the audience is. Am I the audience? Is someone else the audience? I received the email, so you could surmise that I’m the audience. So, why am I confused?

In an email sent to a single person with others carbon copied (cc’d), senders many times do not put a formal greeting in the body of the email. All recipients must waste their time determining whether the message is intended for them or someone else.

I realize they can figure it out by looking at the “to” or “cc” line. But we have over 100 people in our organization. If all emails are sent this way, a lot of time is wasted trying to solve this.

The simple solution? Put a greeting in all emails. This is old-school, I know. But I also know this saves employees’ time. Try looking at a long thread of emails without formal greetings, and you’ll feel your time slipping away. This happens to your employees regularly, and the time wasted is money wasted.

Mark McClanahan (mmcclanahan@callmosb.com or 314.909.1800) is the president at Mosby Building Arts.

Submitted 2 years 153 days ago
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