The email reply, that matters
“It is a pleasure to communicate with you, Mr Demcak”. That was a reply to email communication between me and my “project” client, which forced me to think. What reaction do I expect when sending an email?
“Thank you very much for your prompt reply.” “Thank you for sending me the file in advance, it eased my job a lot.” “Thank you for always being on time.” “How often do you receive such a reply to your email?”
And, what about the replies such as: “What is the status of the project?” “Is everything all right?” “What is the progress fo the action x,y,z…?” “How often do you receive such a reaction to your job?”
In my case, I would say it happens so, so. As all consultants like to say: It depends. And, yes, it depends. It highly depends on me.
Recently I was asked whether I do a self-reflection. I realized that I do it quite often. Sometimes in a structured way by using a radar chart. However, mostly in a spontaneous way by reflecting on the situation that has happened at an unexpected moment.
In the past, my self-reflection looked like: how good am I in teamwork, leadership, risk analyses, presenting? Where are my strengths, and what do I need to improve? Honestly, it gave me a rough picture of me but nothing very tangible, nothing to build on.
And then, a single reply to my email: It is a pleasure to communicate with you, Mr Demcak. It made me feel outstanding about myself. Good job Marek, what else should you expect J
The thing is, what do I expect as a reply when writing a work-related email? Or instead, what does the receiver of the email expect from me? You are right; it smells like stakeholder analyses. A little bit 🙂
When receiving a request about the status of the project, I know I did something wrong (I did not communicate enough and at the right time). When receiving gratitude for doing something good, I know I did something right (I probably overcome my partner expectations). I want to feel that I am doing the right things. What about you?
It is not as much related to email communication as it is to self-reflection. What do I need to improve?
I focused on very conceptual skills in the past. I was reading about different leadership styles, about sophisticated analyses, methods, and tools. I did it to be a professional in managing projects. In the end, I see it does not matter so much. What matters is communication with others. People will create a picture of what kind of professionals we are, based on the way we communicate with them.
So please don’t make the same mistake as I did, don’t focus so much on complicated things when doing a self-reflection. Focus on very basics of your profession, on daily activities, and try to be the best you can in performing them.
Stay curious, my friends.