I contributed a tip to this 15 Business Communication Tips To Help You Conquer The Corporate World article by Aaron Lawrence but only one made it in the article, so here are the tips that were left on the cutting room floor, as it were.
1) Be Concise
Be aware of your own communication style. If you are the type of person who includes a lot of detail in your communications, think about what is the most essential thing you need to tell a colleague.
Your fellow workers are busy. If you include a lot of extraneous information in your discussions with them, you may end up aggravating rather than informing them.
This is especially important when leaving voice mail messages.
2) No More Than Three Action Items Per Email
If you are asking a colleague to perform a task via email, ideally try and keep it to one task per email but no more than three.
If you include just one action item in an email, it will be more likely the recipient will perform the task immediately.
If you need to include more than one task per email, try to limit it to three at the most. This makes it more likely the recipient will be able to remember all three tasks, giving you a better chance they’ll remember to complete them.
If you include more than three tasks, the email becomes more of a project and appears it will take more time or feel daunting. And that’s just the type of thing people tend to put off till later, “when they have more time.”
3) Bold Key Phrases In Email
People tend to scan emails rather than read them, so to help ensure they understand your communications, bold key phrases to facilitate scanning. If you can understand your email by only reading the bold phrases, it will be more likely your email will be understood.
4) Not Everything Is Urgent!
Reserve the Urgent Email exclamation point for only those things that need immediate attention. Abusing this feature will cause your recipient to roll their eyes when they see your email in their inbox.
5) Few Things Are That Exciting
Speaking of exclamation points…avoid using them!
Too many of them make you look really excitable!!
And few things are that exciting, especially in a business environment!!!
You rarely ever need to use exclamation points!!!!
6) Don’t Complain
Everyone has bad days so the occasional complaint is understandable but if you are a serial complainer, people will simply want to avoid you. Try and maintain a positive attitude even when you don’t feel so positive.
7) Accept Feedback Graciously
Don’t be defensive when a colleague gives you feedback. Don’t respond immediately by giving excuses for your performance. Assume the person giving you feedback has an honorable intent to help you improve. Listen closely to their feedback, honestly assess your own performance, ask how you can improve, and reiterate the steps you are going to take to do better in the future.