Listicle: How to craft effective messages to colleagues

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Listicle: How to craft effective messages to colleagues

Cut to the chase and write emails that get results

 

Provide the most important information up front and ask for what you need when dealing with busy colleagues

Provide the most important information up front and ask for what you need when dealing with busy colleagues

When you’re communicating with busy colleagues, you’re competing for their limited attention.

So to get your point across, you have to craft effective messages.

Otherwise you may have lost them before you have even had a chance to make your case.

Here’s how to cut to the chase and write emails that get results.

1 Start with what you want

Busy colleagues don’t want to wait while you build up to the punch line. Provide the most important information up front and ask for what you need.

2 Set the scene

Don’t dive too deep into details, but provide enough context so your audience can follow along. If you’re planning an event, refresh your colleagues’ memories about why you’re doing it and what needs to be done.

3 Explain the complication

This is the specific reason for the meeting or your email. What prompted you to deliver the message?

4 Connect to the big picture

Why should your audience care? Point out what is relevant to them and how it links to their broader goals.

5 Make it memorable

People hear news and information all day. Give them something to latch on to, such as a metaphor, a key statistic or a sound bite.

6 Refocus your audience’s attention

It’s easy for audiences to get distracted by secondary issues, so you must help them to concentrate on the central objective. This is especially useful when you need to keep a large group on track or motivate people toward a common goal.

7 End with a call to action

Once you’ve set the context, reiterate what it is that you need from your audience and ask them for their feedback.

– (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015)

 

Previously published in The Irish Times.

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