The Case of The Missing Email
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You have most likely heard of black holes. Yes, it’s that region in space from where everything, including light, cannot escape. But have you heard of email black holes? The term may be new to you, but chances are that you have experienced an email black hole in the course of your professional correspondence.
Last week, I sent out a short email to a team member on the confirmation of a project. The team member did not respond to the email and as we neared the date of the start of project, I was concerned about her availability. However, I heaved a sigh of relief when she turned up on the day. So, why had she not replied to my email? Did she not receive my email?
Well, she had obviously seen my email or wouldn’t have known where to turn up on the day. There was only one explanation – my email had been lost in the email black hole.
Just as it is considered rude to not respond when someone talks to you directly, it is impolite to not respond to emails addressed to you. When you receive an email from a supervisor, colleague or client, it is best to respond with a simple ‘Got your email. Thanks!” immediately and return to it later when you’ve got the time.
Nearly every official email you receive should be replied to by you. Often times, we receive an email, take in what it has to say, but fail to respond because we don’t have the time. We simply assume that the sender knows we’ve received it. However, to build stronger relationships with your clients and co-workers it is imperative to respond to emails as soon as you get them. A quick response puts your client or co-worker at ease and they begin to regard you as someone who is prompt. This can go a long way in building relations at work and you will certainly be regarded as someone who values other people’s time.
- When you receive an email that requires a detailed response, don’t put it off for days. Send off an acknowledgement saying “Received your mail. Will respond soon.” Knowing that you’ve received their email, will put the sender at ease. If it’s possible, fix a timeline to your response. You can say, “Will respond in a day” or “Expect my response next week”. Now, the sender doesn’t have to wait pointlessly.
- Even if it’s an email that doesn’t really require a response from you, sending an “Okay” or a “Will do”, will assure the sender that you’re on the job.