Thursday, September 19, 2013

The call for better reading/writing skills

I am sure you've faced it and done it to others - not read the entire email in totality or communication in full and missed parts of it. With the abundance of information comes the challenge for the new age of engineers to read and parse information completely. There is a challenge that people writing blog posts such as me, do a good job of delivering the information in manner that key points are not missed

Summary of the problem

  • Of late, I've seen people ask questions already answered in the email they are replying too
  • People chain emails expecting everybody to read things top to bottom
  • Most people reply on top of emails. Top Posting

I think the open source community solved this problem with rules and netiquettes, but most of us who are not aware of them - fail to see the importance of communicating clearly so as to get maximum retention benefits from the audience of the communication.

In my mind, here are the best practices

  • Make sure that the key information is not hidden in a paragraph, but upfront
  • Try to summarize, re-emphasize
  • Use best practices, netiquettes
  • Don't forward or reply to long chains, clearly snip out irrelevant content
  • Use smart subjects
  • Highlight important points

If you are on the receiving side

  • Spend some time on important emails, if required re-read
  • Try to limit the amount of emails you read - batch process, don't switch too often
  • Remember, email is official communication

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