Saturday, August 9, 2014

Netiquette IQ - How to Respond to Five Types of Annoying Email

All of us receive annoying emails, usually every day. Some can be ignored because they are solicitations, others we cannot ignore because of who the person is. So, below is a nice article.

The 5 Annoying Emails Everyone Gets And How To Respond To Them

 By Jane Porter via FastCompany
1. The reply-all explosion
You leave your desk for a cup of coffee, come back, and find an email chain 20-deep with responses at the top of your inbox. There's no turning back once the dunce who forgot to BCC a giant group of people hits "send." "Once you're in that nightmare, you just have to wait until the agony dies down," says Peggy Duncan, founder of the Digital Breakthroughs Institute.
Still, there are things you can do to minimize the irritation. You can ask the person who first reached out to call a full-stop on the email by BCC-ing the group. Or you can simply find ways to keep the messages out of your inbox. Use the "mute" button in Gmail, found under the "More" tab to hide future messages in the chain. Microsoft Outlook has a similar feature under its "Home" tab called "ignore."
2. The unschedulable meeting
Sadly, some reply-all chains just can't be ignored, like the ones your boss sends to set up a meeting. Just when you think you've finally arrived at the perfect time when everyone can make it, Suzie comes back from lunch and announces she's out of town that day and the whole deluge starts all over again.
Make a Doodle poll. It may seem too type-A for your taste, but embedding a poll that lets everyone in the email easily track when each person is available will make things easier for the group. Plus it's free.
3. The mean email you weren't supposed to see
Finding yourself on the receiving end of an email you weren't supposed to see is a tricky situation. Sometimes you can laugh it off, but when nasty words are flying, what do you do?

"I advise my clients to just ignore it," says Duncan. "If it's malicious, you can't ignore it, but if it's petty, it's just not worth your time."
Say the exchange is downright mean and you can't find it in you to ignore. Don't rattle off an angry email you might regret later. Pick up the phone. "People will craft their responses. With the phone they aren’t expecting it and you get a more organic answer from them," says Jacqueline Whitmore, founder of Etiquette Expert. If you're upset about something, let the person you're having a conversation with hear your voice. And if you've accidentally discovered that person is a major jerk, maybe it's time to rethink your relationship.
4. The missing information email
There's nothing like a short and sweet email that gets right to the point, but sometimes you get a short email that's ignored what you asked altogether. "A lot of times people are on their smartphone, hitting 'reply' under the table during a meeting," says Duncan. When you write back, be clear in your subject line that you need more info. Bullet-point your questions and give a specific timeframe for when you need a response. "You're going to have to go back until you get what you need," she says.
5. The passive aggressive email
There are so many ways to be passive aggressive by email: simply ignoring a message, CC-ing the boss, adding smiley faces or exclamation marks as a way to mask anger. People writing a passive-aggressive email are working hard to hide the fact that they're angry, even if their sour attitude comes across loud and clear.
Match someone's passive-aggressive tone with your own and you're asking for it. Passive-aggressive people don't know how to appropriately express their anger, but that doesn't mean you want to play their game. "Don’t give someone the power to turn you into the type of person you don’t like to be," writes Preston Ni, author of the book How to Communicate Effectively and Handle Difficult People in Psychology Today.
Overall the best way to deal with annoying email is to be direct. You can't change someone who has communication problems, but you can avoid getting mixed into their mess. Keep your emails direct and to the point. Don't let emotions into the equation. And whatever you do, don't take it personally. It's just email.
 In addition to this blog, I have authored the premiere book on Netiquette, "Netiquette IQ - A Comprehensive Guide to Improve, Enhance and Add Power to Your Email". You can view my profile, reviews of the book and content excerpts at:

 If you would like to listen to experts in all aspects of Netiquette and communication, try my radio show on BlogtalkRadio  and an online newsletter via have established Netiquette discussion groups with Linkedin and  Yahoo I am also a member of the International Business Etiquette and Protocol Group and Minding Manners among others. I regularly consult for the Gerson Lehrman Group, a worldwide network of subject matter experts and I have been contributing to the blogs Everything Email and emailmonday . My work has appeared in numerous publications and I have presented to groups such as The Breakfast Club of NJ Rider University and  PSG of Mercer County New Jersey.


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