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Lecture 3 - Haas School of Business ugba-100 Business...

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David Robinson ©  David Robinson, 2009 faculty.haas.berkeley.edu/robinson/ugba100 Haas School of Business Haas School of Business ugba -100 Business Communication Lecture 3: E-mail Basics; Resumes and Cover Letters
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e-mail e-mail is now the benchmark
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Lecture Summary: e-mail What’s good and bad about e-mail Creating effective messages Setting up your account Writing effective e-mail Managing your e-mail Comments on IMS and Text
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E-mail is the standard We’ve reached the tipping point—almost all business communication is electronic Exception: Contractual matters Letters of engagement (even these are often sent electronically as .pdf files) Disciplinary actions Commercial negotiations and disputes
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Strengths and weaknesses of e-mail as a medium Good: Time and place shifting; batching A record—without killing trees Very easy to copy Bad Lacks emotional signals Easy to “flame” then regret Very easy to copy … there may be ‘blind’ copies
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When to use e-mail Good for: Things which are short (e.g. set date and time) Routine (e.g. updates, reminders, details of plans) Informational (e.g. meeting summaries) When you have an established working relationship Much less good for Negotiations—more than three volleys: call or go and see Complex topics Emotionally laden issues (“ How do you feel about …”)
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Creating Effective Messages True for all biz comm in addition to e-mail
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Begin with the end in mind If this communication is wonderfully successful, what result? They will understand something They will do something They will stop doing something
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Types of Communication Acknowledgment I’ve done it Thanks Transmittal Here is something you asked for Request Information, action Informational Response Reminder Contractual Good news Selling letters Bad news
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Message Structure Have a clear structure in mind: Who, what, when; where, why and how Timeline
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Begin with a context Person you are writing to needs context “Sorry, can’t find it.” “I’ve checked on the payroll data for 2002 and I’m afraid that’s no longer on the system.” But avoid endless recitation of facts
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End with an action step Examples : “Let me know which day/time works best for you.” “The records may be available in the archive warehouse—Cindy in Admin is the custodian. Please check with her.”
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Setting up e-mail
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Use a “proper” e-mail program E.g. Outlook or Eudora Rationale : Formatting, management of folders Consider web-interface and mobile replies as “non-standard” Hence, not suitable for formal communications
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The e-mail system belongs to your firm Your system administrator can “see” your e-mail going through, even if you are using your gmail account e-mail is persistent—delete it and it still exists in your trash file, and on back-up tapes Moral : Assume your boss is reading everything you write at work
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