Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Email Response

I wrote a response to my intern... the teacher in me wanted to try to teach him something that he can use in his future jobs - instead of completely giving him the smack down. I wrote the response, and other than a couple of minor edits - my new boss thought it was good.

Here is what I sent:

Please let me know how many pictures you’d like – and I’ll send you the best ones that you took. You took about 85 pictures – and that is far too many to send in email. I also took about 500 photos that day as well – so if there are some specific parts of the event that you’d like pictures from – let me know that and I’ll find the best images for your project.

I will send you the information on my job by Monday. In terms of the projects that you have completed and that you are still working on – I want you to write a brief description of what you did. You should be able to find specifics on what you were asked to do in your binder. I would be happy to look over what you write about the projects when you are finished, but I think you need to lead that part of your project.

There are a couple of things that I’d like to let you know about email communication in general – for your internship and for your future jobs as well.

* Consider your audience. It is generally not a good idea to demand anything from your supervisor, instead form your requests into questions. It generally will be received better.

* Make sure that you are sending your email to the correct recipient. For example, please be sure that you are emailing the correct Claudia (Claudia McC) because several of your emails have gone to a different Claudia.

* When using email – it is best to be very clear about the intention of the correspondence. When asking someone to do something for you – you need to make sure that they completely understand what you need them to do. Often it is helpful to give them a sample of how you’d like the information to be given back to you.

* Avoid sentences like “Don’t get into useless details, but don’t be too general. Expand to a limit.” Some people might find that to be offensive and/or confusing. The best way to handle that in the future would be for you to expect that you will get back more information than you need, but you can edit out any information that goes beyond the scope of what you are doing.

* Be sure that you use complete sentences in your correspondence as well. You want to give people the best impression of you in every encounter – so make sure that you are communicating effectively in a professional way.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will get you the information you need as soon as possible. Please let me know if you have gotten the information that you need from Claudia and Christina as well, and I will help you make sure that you have everything in time to get your project completed.

Thank you.

I'm now heading off to say the serenity prayer before I get his response.