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These articles were prepared for the
September 5, 2001 edition of U.S. Newspaper. All rights reserved.
Brush Up Your E-mails
How people cause needless conflicts: by taking
with E-mail. It is indeed a short-hand medium, says Maureen
but short cuts get you into trouble. Sullivan is the editor/publisher
for DBM Publishing, the publishing unit of the outplacement firm Drake
Beam Morin, and she wrote "E-Speak: Everything You Need to Know
Before You Hit the Send Button" (Harcourt, July 2001, $16.95).
"People see E-mail as a memo or a Post-It note, and they give
themselves permission to be not too attentive," she says,
a letter that they compose, key into a word-processing program, and
print on watermarked letterhead."
Sullivan’s workshop, "Is your E-mail style helping or hurting
your career?" is scheduled for the Human Resources Management
Association on Monday, September 10, at 5:30 p.m. at the Princeton
Hyatt. The dinner price of $35 includes a copy of her book. Call
Mangone Stoddard at 609-883-3000.
Letter writers, Sullivan points out, often hold up their finished
product to see that it is blocked well on the paper. "When you
send a letter by snail mail, you are very concerned about your image.
Someone will open it, and it will sit on someone’s desk, displaying
the `best of you’ in that document."
Such precautions are ignored by most E-mailers. "People `pour’
into the keyboard. They tear at it. Many people do not proofread,
and if they do, they are very forgiving of any sloppiness or
she says. E-mails sent to good friends are particularly vulnerable.
When you write to a college friend, for instance, your friend knows
that you are a smart person, and that you can spell, so you relax
your vigilance. "But your E-mail could get printed out, and the
printed version may backfire. Or it could get forwarded to
One way that forwarding can be dangerous is that most people do not
paraphrase information when they send an E-mail to someone else. They
don’t say "so and so requested this," they merely forward
the message and put their own instructions at the top. The result:
Your haphazard effort is being read and judged by a stranger.
A 1964 graduate of Marymount College, Sullivan has taught school,
worked in advertising for BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather, and served as
executive director for DBM’s Career Care Alumni Services
The 21st century workplace will require a new set of etiquette rules
and a renewed interest in psychology, Sullivan predicts. That’s
much of our work will be virtual, by E-mail and telephone, and
will need to retune their antennae to get along with bosses and
that one rarely sees.
"Words constitute only seven percent of communication," says
Sullivan. Language — intonation and inflection — represents
30 percent, and body language is 55 percent. So telephoning someone
gives you just a 45 percent chance of conveying your feelings
E-mail stacks the odds more. "If you E-mail me, I don’t hear the
fun in your voice, or the coziness," says Sullivan. "We would
have less of a chance to get along."
Sullivan’s E-speak book is based on a survey that Drake Beam Morin
has been conducting for 30 years. Based on Carl Jung’s theory of
the survey classifies people into four categories: Thinkers, Feelers,
Intuitors, and Sensors. From these categories come the Myers-Briggs
tests, with four scales and 16 personality types.
At Drake Beam Morin, an outplacement company where many people take
the Myers-Briggs for the first time, jobseekers learn the "I speak
your language" course work that teaches them to identify an
style and respond to it effectively. "If I were a Sensor, and
I am being interviewed by a Thinker, it would behoove me to speak
in her language and not have the appearance of haste," says
to a Thinker, use logic and leave nothing out. Be sure you answer
all possible questions.
success. Feelers are the ones sending chain letters about sick
For a feeler, don’t be too breezy. Begin your E-mail with a salutation
(Dear Sally) and sign it formally. "Just putting in a salutation
warms it substantially," says Sullivan.
seen as scattered, unconventional, and fantasy bound). They may appear
arrogant by getting impatient when others don’t get the big picture
as soon as they do. "No one ever said Einstein was too much of
an intuiter, but when Einstein is seen as the fuzzy-headed professor,
or the guy who can’t find his car keys, that is not flattering."
Intuiters should doublecheck their E-mails to be sure they are cogent.
quickly. When E-mailing a Sensor, get right to the point and use
"A Sensor doesn’t want pages of research; they can shoot from
the hip, and if you go on and on you will lose them." These are
the people who might erase documents before they read them — if
the document comes from a time-wasting Feeler.
personality types, you can stay out of trouble by observing the no-nos
for all four. Make sure your message is logical (for the thinker),
imaginative (for the intuitive), succinct (for the sensory), and
(for the feeler). If all four are in there, you have catered to
in the audience, yet you haven’t turned it into a caricature.
"We get the reactions that this is ridiculous soft science,"
says Sullivan. "But people need this help because the words alone
have no meaning, yet when strung together with inflection, they have
For instance, the phrase "Where were you last night?" carries
a different meaning based on the intonation. If spoken, it would
come across as a casual conversation starter along the lines of
new?" But if written, it could make someone with a guilty
feel accused. Says Sullivan: "People are getting fired because
they send innocuous documents interpreted wrongly."
— Barbara Fox
RE/MAX of New Jersey associates have raised
for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) through a networking cruise
in New York harbor. All proceeds from ticket sales and an onboard
auction were donated to the charity.
Hospitals affiliated with the Children’s Miracle Network provide care
to children regardless of their parents’ ability to pay. The funds
raised through this event are earmarked for the Children’s Specialized
Hospital in Mountainside, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital
at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and
Hospital of Philadelphia.
Since 1992, RE/MAX member agencies have raised more than $27.2 million
for the Children’s Miracle Network.
& Child Health Consortium of Piscataway as the recipient of two 2001
community service grants.
The first grant supports the Consortium’s Smart Start program, which
distributes preconception health information to couples through
license registrars in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.
The second grant enables the consortium to continue an outreach
entitled March of Dimes Comenzando Bien, a five-week program that
reaches out to Hispanic women to inform them about the importance
of prenatal care.
a $25,000 grant to support nursing students by providing tuition
and covering some of the cost of books, fees, and licensing fees.
In a written statement, Alfred Mays, vice president, corporate
and community relations at Johnson & Johnson, says that, "with
this nursing donation, we hope to encourage motivated individuals
to consider a career in nursing that is so essential to the growing
demand for skilled heath care professionals in our region.
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