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Clearview® Performance Systems brings you ... ® ... a Culture of Results & Engagement®

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions)
to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites Issue #55

Can Emails Lead to ECD [Efficiency-Compulsive-Disorder]?

The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today's most energy-efficient lighting technologies. One of the reasons this type of lighting is so efficient is LEDs emit very little heat; in contrast, older-style incandescent bulbs—with their warm illuminance—release 90% of their energy as heat.

I use this metaphor as a backdrop for something I've been paying close attention to over the past few months.

Have you noticed when a day is just beginning (or a shift is beginning for those of you on alternate schedules) that most people have a very friendly tone? When they first see someone who they haven't seen since the day before that there's a ...

"Good Morning!" or a ...

"Did you have a great evening?" or a ...

"Did you do anything fun last night?"

... or something that conveys a warm tone?

Yet—and here's where the metaphor comes in—I've been observing a curious dichotomy as it pertains to emails. When managers send out their first emails of the day to someone (or to a team), it's frequently all business; just the facts; just the ask ... and no warmth.

"Vickie, could you swing by for us to talk about the CRM proposal?" or ...

"Peter, don't forget that the PPT slide deck will need to be updated before tomorrow's meeting." or (to a team) ...

"All, could you provide an update on the data conversion project?"

In essence, they revert to efficiency mode. Not because they don't know how to be warm in their conversations; they do it just fine when they have a face-to-face. No, I believe they lose the warmth because they've been conditioned to look at emails as a tool for quick and efficient communications—nothing more. So, similar to the efficient LED lighting referenced earlier, they're efficient ... but they "emit very little heat" (aka "warmth").

For transferring information efficiently, emails are excellent. For building relationships and engaging people ... not so much. This week's CORE Bites focuses on a simple—yet under-utilized—technique that will take only seconds to implement but will have a positive impact on your team (and others you send emails to).

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Steps

This week (starting today), look for those 'first-email-of-the-day' warmups where you could set a relationship-enhancing tone. [Note: It's okay for the subsequent emails back-and-forth throughout the day to adopt a more 'get-right-to-the-point' approach.]

While you wouldn't think that adding an email greeting would be that complicated to write, I've learned that crafting a perfect phrase that seamlessly segues into the rest of an email is an art form in and of itself. Examples you might consider using (or wordsmithing) are listed below:

  • Good Morning! I hope you enjoyed your evening/weekend. [I know, this is very basic but it needs to be stated as a reminder!]
  • Good Morning [Name]. I hope you're having a great week.
  • Hello [Name] ... how was your weekend? Did you get a chance to recharge the batteries?
  • Good Morning [Name] ... do anything fun over the weekend?
  • Hello [Name], I know you have an exciting week ahead. I'm eager to hear how your presentation goes!
  • Good Morning [Name], thanks for your email yesterday. I appreciate the update ...
  • Hello [Name], thanks for your quick response to my question.
  • Good Morning [Name]. Congratulations on [enter a relevant accomplishment].
  • Great Morning [Name]! Because you're our resident expert on [enter topic], I'd love to get your advice on ...
  • Great Morning [Name] ... have you been told that you are "awesome" today? If not, consider yourself told! [explain why]
  • Hello [Name] ... YOU ROCK! [explain why]
  • Hello Awesome Team!

I'd love to hear how these HVAs work for you!

Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA
RESULTant™ and Behavioral Engineer

Quote of the Week

"Tone can be as important as text."

— Ed Koch —