This email was sent from a person (a real, live person). Knowing that is for your benefit more than ours.
Just last week, one of our clients shared how she reframed her entire perspective on responding to emails. She zeroed in on Dale Carnegie’s principle:
"Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely."
She recently decided to view incoming email requests as an opportunity to help others, rather than just as more work. For several weeks, she worked to enthusiastically respond to each request as diligently as possible.
The results were immediate. Someone reached out for help who happened to have the ear of a senior leader. She told us that her new attitude of service on email probably did more to grow her career than anything else she’s done in the recent past.
Emails Are People Too
Year ago, I had a job where we created folders for participants in 2-day programs. Depending on the person’s situation, they needed to contain different handouts and logistical information. Our manager at the time obsessed over the folders.
“Every folder is a person,” she liked to say. “People notice when you get their information or materials wrong.”
It’s easy to view a full inbox as just more work — and to respond with only the bare minimum, leaving others with the impression that we’re not especially helpful.
Names in an inbox and icons on a screen are easy to view as just data. Yet, each represent an opportunity for us to connect, add value, and serve.
Make This Change
Our client’s change was simple. Her actions aligned with Dale Carnegie’s principle: “Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.”
If you’re looking for a simple and powerful action to improve your relationships and how people view you, adopt this simple perspective:
Every email is a person.
Real people notice how we respond (or don’t). Respond the same way you’d hope others would respond when your emails go out.
If you do so consistently, you may also find your influence growing in substantial ways.