Brighton Leadership Group

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Are Your Emails Getting Through?

Many leaders assume that once they’ve sent an email, the message has been communicated. You might be surprised to find out how often that isn’t the case! Communication requires a sender, a message, and a recipient. Unfortunately the message doesn’t always connect with the recipient, even when the sender believes they are being clear!

When crafting an email message ask yourself, “what is my intended outcome and impact?” Be careful to consider who needs to receive the message – filling people’s inboxes with CC’s that don’t have context and seem irrelevant will teach them to ignore your emails!

Excellent email messages have four key components. An effective email quickly tells the recipient:

  1. Why they are receiving the message
  2. What they need to know
  3. What they need to do
  4. Where to go for more information

This information should be towards the top of the message. Many people skim emails, and may never read all the way down to the bottom. This is why it’s important to BLUF – put the Bottom Line Up Front!

Here’s an effective email checklist:

  • Is your message quick, memorable and relevant?
  • Have you put the Bottom Line Up Front?
    • Why they are receiving the message
    • What they need to know
    • What they need to do
  • Have you connected back to the why? Share the “why” behind the “what” so the listener can make connections. Too often communications focus so much on the facts that they do not make meaning, and consequently the message gets lost in translation.
  • Have you tailored the message for the receiver? As Nelson Mandela famously said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

For more tips on powerful messaging, download our Change Communication Checklist.

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