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Technology And Communication: E-Mail Etiquette

October 12, 2019


hello and welcome everyone to the last lecture
of this week for the course on developing soft skills and personality week five module
six lecture number thirty so the entire week we spent on technology and communication and
we focused on various aspects of how technology has contributed to facilitate communication
and at the same time to shrunken the human personality as such how mobile technology
for example has affected our personality how netiquette norms should be followed how email
should be used in an effective manner as a concluding lecture i am going to focus specifically
on email etiquette in this lecture and before i start lets take a quick look at what i did
in the previous lecture in the previous one i talked about netiquette as a polite and
acceptable form of mannerisms for communicating with someone using the internet
now why netiquette i focused on some reasons why you should use it when it looks like almost
you can be a very free to use the net people become insensitive while using computers they
behave like machines and then they forget that the person at the other side is a human
being while formal training has been given for writing letters business letters and all
that those days now a days no formal training is given for anybody to use internet or to
send emails so you need to know the netiquette norm and you should train equip yourself with
some basic fundamental rules the five ps of soft skills which we have talked about are
completely ignored by most of the people when they use the net in that context i also introduced
to you some basic netiquette norms for instance i started with the first cardinal rule that
the receiver is actually human being fully alive and kicking so the other person is ah
there fully alive and this side you should not think that that’s an inert inanimate object
sitting there and then will we cold and have no response to whatever kind of communication
that you sent so remember that in your mind first netiquette
is all about showing emotions showing that you are a human being and not a robot you
can use emoticons where appropriate in even in formal communication it’s allowed now but
to be on the safe side always use appropriate language as much as if you can use polite
expressions like the once that we have discussed before simple things like thank you please
and then explaining using would you like to and then polite forms as much as possible
in your communication and appropriate language not expressing negative emotions like anger
ok frustration then using proper language that will always keep you on the safe side
of netiquette norm be careful also in choosing the right words since they can be stored permanently
anything that you write so thing about what you are writing so that can be stored permanently
and that can be used against you at a later stage and you should also keep in mind that
it is the receiver who controls emails once they are sent you think that you have absolute
control no they receiver can do so many things the receiver can actually put you to shame
the receiver can humiliate you with the mail that you ah thought that the receiver should
delete immediately but receiver decides to use against you and overall while concluding
i suggested you should be always correct and in particular you should be ethically correct
when your sending emails so by being ethically correct i said that
you may thing that ah it’s your right to do something but you should always keep in mind
what is right what is appropriate and then you should do that thing so you always know
what is morally right or what is morally bad and do not use bad communication especially
the unethical ones do not load unethical ones on the internet which can catch you unawares
and then leave you with lot of embarrassment at a later stage and this participants who
wish to develop soft skills that’s totally ah unrequired unwarranted now in this lecture
the concluding ah lecture on technology and communication lets focus on email etiquette
the kind of norms that you need particular with regard to using emails now the most important
thing that i want you to follow i would rather even request you is to make sense ok when
you send an email make sense you have seen the examples that i shown to you in the last
one some of which dint make any sense to me or to you and then those where send by people
and then thinking that they have actually made sense
so try to make sense i mean give some meaning give a proper message though it is difficult
to because you sent thoughtless ones so that’s why it’s becoming difficult when it comes
to emails it’s rather so easy to send no sense or nonsense emails because of the reason that
people just type whatever comes to the mind without bothering to know whether what is
expressed clearly reflects their thoughts making sense is difficult as it means curtailing
some bad writing some habit accumulated over a period of time again it’s a choice between
giving up old bad habit’s which refuse to die and then choosing to adopt good right
habit’s which will take time only in practice will be able to invite them so try to invite
the good habit’s in terms of email writing which i am going to specify in the next few
slides overall in order to make sense in order to make sense some meaning out of what you
are sending plan your email before hand even a worth while exercise to note down what you
want to convey ok note down the important points you want to convey check your ah email
whether the points have come clearly or not also you decide the sequence which you want
to convey the points which one you want to tell first which one you want to tell in the
middle so plan the beginning middle and end sometimes an important thing can be said at
the end after talking simple normal once sometimes you think that the most important thing has
to come as the first one and then you try to argue or you try to substantiate you your
view point based on that so you decide the sequence also and it will really help you
if you prepare yourself by writing a rough draft write the rough draft on a word document
and then present it in a readable manner you have seen paragraph divisions checking the
spelling and all that and ensuring that you are clear you are concise then you are coherent
in coherence that is order is not decided properly the sequence is not maintained properly
it will also completely the reader it will confuse your receiver so be coherent what
are the other simple steps we can follow in order to make sense avoid using worn out phrases
that does not make any sense in the context so some old idiomatic expressions so idiomatic
expressions which have no meaning for example in your own context in a local context some
idiomatic expressions have originated from some culture somewhere and then they dont
have any relevance to you similarly metaphors and similes the comparisons if they are not
used properly they may confuse the reader and lead to miscommunication the most important
thing you should avoid in email communication is miscommunication and it’s not worth causing
it by wrong use of expressions by over use of metaphors and similes thinking that it
will look nice for the reader but actually causing confusion and miscommunication is
not required use simple words with short sentence construction
dont go for very flowery decorative poly syllabic words that is many syllabic words long word
and even long and complicated sentences even that you should be avoiding if you can keep
these things in your mind your mail will become very clear and it will be cross the barrier
of machine very easily and reach the other person in a very human manner the next one
that you should keep in mind is spend an extra minute just a minute to save an hour of the
receiver you say you just spend one more minute in doing some checking very quickly but it
can save an hour for the receiver how because you dint bother certain things but the other
person took about one hour to figure out what you actually want to convey lets see how you
can spend that extra minute ah so that you can save an hour of the receiver you should
spend extra time on editing the text checking the spelling grammar inserting emoticons if
it is likely to confuse the receiver making use of punctuation marks dividing lengthy
matter into readable paragraphs remembering to type a descriptive subject line and finally
by not sending an unsolicited and irrelevant mail
now lets briefly look at each of these aspects in the following sub headings one by one first
keep it short how can you keep it short keep your e mails focused in content that is what
is meant by short it’s very focused no extra ah phrase are attached and it should be short
in length should not write long emails people generally do not have time to read long emails
i know people who by default delete length mails they dont read that at all sometimes
they look at the subject sometimes they quickly browse one or two lines they just delete they
dont think it’s a right way to send an email they dont give a damn they just delete it
when you send length emails and you keep wondering why despite the ten page mail you wrote there
is not even one sentence reply coming from the other person the other person is just
in disguise deleted the email that was taking so much time of this person and he is not
able to figure out what is there in the mail so keep it short and do not think that you
will write an essay you will write so many pages to impress the receiver thumb rule is
that if you can not convey an idea effectively in a short paragraph you can never do the
same in a long essay in a long essay you keep on writing convoluted sentences then you want
to convey one simple idea and your not able to convey that in so many paragraphs but if
you tell yourself the other rule that one idea you will convey in paragraph and then
stick to that idea in that paragraph you would have conveyed everything that you wanted to
convey in about ten pages so there is no merit in writing ten pages
when you can say the same thing in one paragraph in just one forth of the page in fact people
will appreciate you people will be very great full to you if you can convey the thing in
just three four simple sentences than writing three four pages your email will always be
read instead of sending it to the trash can immediately or putting filter so that your
mail automatically goes to the trash can in case an email has to be significantly and
justifiably lengthy going to the nature of the subject matter sometimes you give a report
ok sometimes you present a very lengthy argument now in that case also do not give the impression
that it’s one long email you are writing it’s a long essay use subheadings ok divide them
into paragraphs ah let each paragraph may have subheading use sufficient spaces in between
paragraphs in email there is a tendency to write without any paragraph space people are
not able to distinguish between one paragraph and the other one so give sufficient space
to make it easy for reading and understanding so the eyes or happy they feel very pleased
to look at those emails where there are blank spaces in between the paragraphs
so the eyes are not strain to look at an identify the main content the next important now pay
attention to subject lines that is there is a subject line on the top where you type what
is the subject what is the topic what is the core idea now many people do not pay attention
to the subject lines and i would rather tell you this if you tell me this subject lines
that you keep sending or if you give me fifty emails to sent and if i can analyze the subject
lines i can tell you who you are because subject lines tell me so much about the kind of person
that you are what kind of personality you have subject lines apart from describing the
inner content of the matter have much to tell about you as a person whether you are sloppy
that i can see from the subject line casual flippant uncouth uncivilized or just lazy
uncaring unmindful or are you sincere that also can be seen from the subject line serious
meticulous that is paying attention to detail that can also be observed from the subject
line dedicated to the job to whatever mail that you are communicating professional sophisticated
and even stylish you can have a personality you can have a style in which you write emails
and that will also attract people towards you do you have that that can be seen from
the subject line itself whether you have that style or not
now in subject lines the worst subject line that an email can have is no subject often
you will see an email coming to you and on the top it is written no subject because the
email is either sent in a hurry without subject line so the person is just in a hurry so he
wrote something and then sent or the subject is just not thought of something is written
but the person whose sent it is not having time to think about what is the subject now
this indicates that the sender is unmindful of the precious time the receiver has to spend
in opening reading and understanding the subject and quite often realize that it is an irrelevant
message that needs to be deleted so so much time is spent by the receiver just to open
it and check whether it is the right one and then after that the person realizes that it
should be deleted so that is again not required at all subject lines should clearly express
the content whatever is inside should be expressed outside in the subject line there is also
another principle in which you respect the receiver by giving freedom to the receiver
to exercise an option of opening the mail or deleting it
suppose in the subject line itself it’s clearly written the person knows whether it is relevant
to him or her and then the person can delete it immediately but you should not use tempting
subject lines like free holiday trip to goa so the person opens and then you advertise
you say something about yourself but inside it doesnt mean anything or you write open
and become bill gates and you say something about working and all that and nothing to
do with the becoming rich quickly stay young forever now these are tempting subject lines
but then people after sometime if they start getting this kind of things from you they
will again not even open the mail and they will form a notion that at the same time you
should not over emphasize the subject by capitalizing them or by creating a fall sense of urgency
repeat whatever i have done and then send it immediately ok so the use of word immediate
kind attention immediate attention and then even using capital letters will give a impression
to the other person that you are creating urgency which is not really required i heard
of story of a manager who thought that you should gain the attention of his employees
all the time so he had a standard subject line and all the time it is written in caps
also and he wrote urgent matter so any mail that will go from him will have this urgent
matter and the next two words are respond immediately urgent matter respond immediately
now in due course of time initially employees thought that ok this is a serious one they
looked at they realize that even if they respond to that after a month nothing will happen
and even if they dont respond to it nothing will happen so in due course what happen the
employees never response they just stop responding to the email at all now you can understand
when you repeat the same subject matter it loses it sense urgency and emphasis the same
subject matter that is repeated will also lose it’s emphasis and then false sense of
urgency urgent matter and then using capital letters for over emphasis so everything is
completely loosing the purpose if it is repeated endlessly unmindful and thinking that it will
create overall importance and it’s not happening what can you do in subject lines use a short
descriptive phrase indicating the core idea of the email if i ask you what is your email
about can you tell me in a sentence ok you tell me in a sentence then i tell you in the
sentence can you identify two three input words key words ok you say yes these are the
three important words and those words should be there in the subject line you yourself
can ask this what is that i want to convey what should be my subject line and the subject
line is something that you tell somebody about your email in just two to three words sometimes
a single word not more than four then five words if you are going to add details it can
go beyond that but then ah the some examples which i am going to show you does beyond four
five words but fine because they are also done with the purpose for the sake of clarity
for example if it is a meeting is not enough just to say meeting or directors meeting it
will be helpful to the receivers if we can specify the time the date and venue in the
subject line itself look at the example i have given directors meeting ok
so that’s the whole email about but in the subject line itself you can say it’s on twenty
first june two thousand sixteen date and then time ten a m when you conference room so assuming
that there are five conference rooms which one you are saying that is c r three conference
room number three now people need not even go through that immediately they can just
take a look and understand that ok there is a meeting after sometime wherever they get
a time they can read the contents and find out why the meeting is to be conducted similarly
if you are inviting people for a talk for a lecture you can even mention the name of
the speaker and topic on the subject line so as to attract the people and so as to alert
the people and give the very basic information that is needed look at the example people
i have given talk on cybernetics so that’s a subject the topic is a itself talk on cybernetics
by whom kevin warwick ok l h sixteen now in institutes especially like i i t kanpur l
h is known to everybody it’s lecture hall sixteen but in a place where this abbreviation
is not known if it is sent outside i i t kanpur so then you have write in full form you have
to write lecture hall then write the date and the time
so this makes it very clear and it your giving a choice freedom to the receiver whether to
open the email or not whether to attend to the lecture or not ok lets say somebody in
ah like literature or fine arts or economics decides or thinks that this is purely a lecture
on computer science and then i have no interest in this the person need not even open the
mail and read it it’s save so much time so over all this will help the receiver to have
quick idea about the mail even without opening it so this way people will be very grateful
to you happy to receive your emails if you are very clear in the subject line
the next one you should keep in mind is you should respect reply you should respect reply
in the sense you should not over use the same mail again and again with the subject line
where it comes like re re re so avoid this the re re re re re and so on indicating that
it’s a reply for a reply for a replay for a replay for a replay endlessly now this again
completely occupies the subject line nobody knows what is that getting repeated if you
are in the chain decide to break the re monotonous loop and then just even either you keep one
re and then say what is the subject or even you remove that re and then make it a new
subject ok you can even say follow up of this activity continuation of this idea use a subject
line while replying a mail instead of living automated re for replay
now when you remove all extra res and then just add the most important content of your
email it will again give lot of relief to the person who is reading it look at the example
i have given an employee applied for loan and it’s urgent loan he needed some amount
and he it’s a medical emergency he needed ah that for the treatment of his son who is
hospitalized and he wanted money from the employer now he was greatly tensed whether
he is getting the amount or not whether the higher authorities will sanction or not whether
the higher authorities will sanction or the not the employers reply with the subject line
re ok that is reply amount sanctioned can be a great relief to the employee even before
opening the mail so even by looking at it amount sanctioned he feels so relieved stress
is relieved then he opens and reads how much amount is sanctioned so it is being done what
how should he repay and all that similarly do not use an old mail for the sake address
without changing the subject matter this indicates laziness which will be worst than sending
the mail without any subject look at another example as a convener of the department postgraduate
committee sometime before ok i received a mail from a colleague of mine with a subject
matter re vending machine so the mail is sent with a request to me to
forward a new p g course developed by the sender but the subject line is vending machine
ok so informally i was also involved in procuring a vending machine for the department and i
was also in the committee related to this but the person just to take my address used
this as re to that but said that could you just forward this course so obviously what
is happened my colleague used an earlier mail which we had shared some suggestions on the
vending machine but to have that is a subject line for course forwarding request so you
know that this too inappropriate so knowing what should be the subject line and then removing
what is inappropriate and carrying the time of the receiver will make you actually respect
reply the next email etiquette you should keep in mind that you should avoid typing
in full capitals either the subject as i gave the example before where the employee used
fully caps nobody considered it as a serious one now people have a tendency to use full
caps even in the body of the mail that you should avoid unless it’s very important and
even in that case it may be word or a phase or a sentence why should you avoid this unnecessary
use capitals is considered shouting so the capital letters give over emphasis and gives
a feeling that your shouting or yelling more over long sentences with full capital letters
or difficult to comprehend and eyes take more time to capture the message
now you could see the difference just by reading the previous sentence itself even when i am
reading i am trying read it’s very difficult for me to read capital letters at one go but
if they are mixed with small letters and capital are used only at the beginning of the sentence
or for proper nouns ok or for names ok or for some terms where it should be begin with
capital or some abbreviations which are used for combining some terms and making it an
acronym otherwise you dont have to use full capitals thinking that it will create some
kind of emphasis and importance to your mail the next email etiquette that you should keep
in mind this no random c cing it is c c actually means carbon copy ok those days in type writer
they use to keep a carbon copy and send it to the person copy of that original one now
a days c c actually sending you the original mail but in the c c column you indicate that
you are not the main person but do not random c c somebody has replied to you with copy
to others but you have to decide whether you should also reply to the person directly or
you should reply all and you should send copies to all these a very decision you have to make
do not copy to many or reply all when the message seeks the attention of a single receiver
i showed you one email where the person wanted internship but has c cd to almost all the
email ids available at i i t kanpur so do not copy to many or reply all when the
message seeks the attention of a single receiver if you do that that single receiver will fail
to notice it and you will not get a reply it’s also considered root bad mannered e mannered
discourteous and even uncouth because the sender is taking for granted that time unsolicited
receivers everybody looks at it and then deletes and even just the time it takes to identify
that the mail is unwarranted it’s a spam and then to delete it it’s unworthy just wasteful
hence habitual that is people just reply all and they realize oh i forgot i just spent
the replay all button instead of just replay so this the habitual one inadvertent copying
without even knowing that you are committing a mistake unintentionally coping to many
so there you put a check you ask should it go to all this people or should it go to only
one person avoid this c cing and replaying all when it is not required at all cost so
that again gives a very good profile about you as a person who is using email etiquette
on the net with regard to use of abbreviations another tendency in email is they use all
kinds of abbreviations especially the chat language and the abbreviation which are used
in chat in social network they try to use in email also so you have to use abbreviations
discretely that means you have to use judicially you have to know what is appropriate and known
to all and avoid that which is not known to so many people so use abbreviation or acronyms
which are commonly know and you know and universally recognizable some examples if you look at
it a k a also know as a s a p as soon as possible b t w by the way and even like for see you
later people write c u l at r later f y i for your information k i t keep in touch l
o l laughing out loud s y s see you again t y v m thank you very much w r t with respect
to now some people even dont know this but what i am trying to tell you is that at least
these are commonly known and universally recognizable people at least can recognize this easily
but using abbreviations according to one whims and fancy the person decides i just abbreviate
these words and use it in the manner that i like and that to with inconsistent spellings
already have abbreviated and spellings in somewhere for between you write b e t n in
some other place you write b n ok so that inconsistent in the spelling you use even
for abbreviation can cause huge confusion to the receiver
so the message can be distorted or misrepresented and result in evoking a kind of negative response
which can be easily avoided if you pay attention to the use of abbreviations be careful when
you use them now the other email etiquette which i would say as a teacher of english
and language and literature i would say that it’s a very important email etiquette and
you should pay enough attention in order to develop your soft skills this is to tell you
that you should avoid spelling grammar mistakes and typographical errors typographical errors
are errors which come as you type so instead of one key you press the other one but then
in your hurry you dont have time to check them so you send it as it is and think that
people will understand so when you send it email finally check your email for spelling
grammar mistakes and typographical errors now today all emails have built in spell checkers
grammar checkers and even as you type so they will underline if they dont do it you can
take it to word or other document and you can put it in see so the spelling mistake
normally gets underlined by red color and grammar mistakes are underlined by green color
or in some software it can be blue color whatever color is it shows you that it’s a mistake
and even by a right click you can easily change the wrong spelling to the right one why dont
you do that use the spell checkers you dont have to go to dictionary if only you spend
that one minute extra you will save so much time you will avoid miscommunication and pay
attention to those underlined words dont ignore them when the computer is underlining and
telling you there is something wrong so you pay attention by that you will not only save
plenty of the receivers time but also ensure that your message is communicated effectively
and the receiver got the exact import of your communication more over bad spelling and frequent
typographical errors reflect illiteracy and lack of professionalism illiteracy in the
sense not that you are uneducated but it shows that you are totally ignorant of this netiquette
norms and of course it will also indicate that you are not a professionally using email
communication and the next thing is equally important where i suggest recommend to you
that you should take note of punctuation marks because people think when they write email
it’s a wrong thinking it’s a misconception that punctuation marks are not necessary while
sending emails so only when you write letter by hand or get
it typed ok and not send it but hand it over manually people thing that punctuation is
required in fact e mail electronic mail is substituting you are manual efforts so whatever
you do manually whatever norms structure that you follow should also be followed here apart
from that for clear communication punctuation marks capitalization spaces after punctuations
are very necessary now i am just going to show you one ah example again i received from
a student who is obviously operating under this wrong notion misconception that punctuation
marks are not required and the teacher will understand and it shows how the sender has
no regard for punctuation or capitalization and then personal abbreviations which greatly
affect the readability and effectiveness of the mail take a look at this mail you are
not going to analyze but then you see there is absolutely no comma no full stop and then
you dont know when a sentence is started and very it is ending no capital letter to indicate
that is sentence is beginning no full stop to indicate that the sentence is ending look
at the names like for example b r agarwal so the initials of the names which should
capitalized are not capitalized and even the name of something like saraswati devi college
again it should be capitalized if you look at the abbreviations used b t
c o z ok is it but or between coz i understand it’s because and for the d is used w t i dont
know whether it is wait with regard to with respect to any error a and y but a and a n
i is written error word itself is written with a spelling mistake what kind of impression
the other person will have about this email no regard for punctuation marks no way of
telling when the sentence is beginning where it is ending so this will definitely irritate
annoy the other person and even if the person is carrying concerned about knowing what the
person wants to convey it’s very difficult to understand the actual message from this
email so this is something that you should completely
avoid and pay attention to punctuation marks now towards the end i just want to conclude
with the final etiquette norm that you should keep in mind which again is a very simple
one but most of you over look check your computer clock sometimes you reset your computer sometimes
you ah reformat it and sometimes you ignore the timing that is shown on the computers
sometimes that is synchronized with the local time sometimes it is synchronized with some
other time which you didnt note sometimes it is done in such a manner that it is showing
indicating ah the past hour instead of the present hour so let your system clock correctly
and decide whether it is a m or p m ok sometime it’s showing a m where it should be p m now
you will profusely confuse your reader during the fixing up an appointment for future or
even calling for the meeting while your mail would indicated time lapsed in the past
lets say you are sending an email by saying that lets meet tomorrow ok and lets say today
it’s nineth and then you are saying that lets meet tomorrow now your mail time is indicating
that it is sent on seventh and tomorrow actually means eighth and your sending on nineth assuming
that they will meet you on tenth now most people will see that ok they saw the mail
much later may be there email there was some problem internet connectivity there was some
problem so they received your mail one or two days late and the meeting was already
over so you go and sit for the people to come and the people if they are again inefficient
communicators they presume and then they dont attend the meeting if they are good communicators
they would see clarifications they will email you they will check with you they will call
you on phone they will message you but most of the times as i said good communication
needs lot of coordination which in the next week i will try to talk to you about becoming
good and effective communicator but at this time let us assume that most of
people are busy most of the people presume things so they dont even bother to check the
actual real time in which you might have send it so avoid this and minimize the huge mistakes
that you might be causing to the company or the organization or the people whom you represent
in conclusion i would like to tell you that netiquette norms you followed could generate
the high level professionalism and likeability people will not only look up to you as a person
who is good following the norms but also they will appreciate you and result in getting
favorable responses in internet based communication whatever you are sent you receive a favorable
response and that is one hall mark of effective communication which as i said again will discuss
in the next week now use this lecture and the previous one as a quick check list for
netiquette and build up a reputation for sending good engaging thoughtful time saving useful
effective and interesting e mails your mails should be read your mails should be responded
to your mails should not directly go to the trash can your mails should not be filtered
for reading it later or for not reading it at all
so whether you use the priority or not whenever people see your mail they should get the impression
that this persons sends email only when there is an important content and only when it is
necessary so i should check this mail first this person never sends a spam so very sensible
person knows all the netiquette norms hopefully this lecture will help you to do that and
use this there is a kind of check list as a concluding talk to the entire week on technology
and communication remember we have talked about basically on so many technological inventions
which have actually facilitated communication and most of these gadgets whether it is mobile
or email they were all invented for using the net for using it for communication in
order to save time but the moral we learn when we understand that they are actually
being misused or they are not being properly and effectively used is that thanks to technology
we can now waste time then efficiency unless until now unimaginable all in the name of
saving time just remember once again thanks to technology we can now waste time with an
efficiency until now unimaginable we never thought of this before this inventions that
we can use gadgets which we are invented for saving time but we are wasting time like anything
all in the name of saving time but the entire weeks content is to tell you to use effectively
and save not only your time but but the time of other who are involved with you in communication
thank you so much for being with me for this entire week and then benefiting from the videos
on technology and communication in the next week we will focus on communication as such
thanks once again for watching this video

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2 Comments

  • Reply Ranjna Sharma September 29, 2018 at 6:16 am

    helpful

  • Reply Mohd Arham khan October 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks u sir

  • Leave a Reply