Corporate Angels

Corrections or additions?

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

short-cuts

with E-mail. It is indeed a short-hand medium, says Maureen

Sullivan,

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,

"versus

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

Marilyn

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

error,"

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

others."

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

(msullivan@dbm.com).

The 21st century workplace will require a new set of etiquette rules

and a renewed interest in psychology, Sullivan predicts. That’s

because

much of our work will be virtual, by E-mail and telephone, and

everyone

will need to retune their antennae to get along with bosses and

cohorts

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

accurately.

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

types,

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

interviewer’s

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

Sullivan.

Thinkers are logical, move-in lockstep people. When

E-mailing

to a Thinker, use logic and leave nothing out. Be sure you answer

all possible questions.

Feelers are caring and motherly, concerned about

subordinates’

success. Feelers are the ones sending chain letters about sick

children.

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.

Intuiters are creative, out of the box thinkers (also

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.

Sensors live in the moment and want to get a job done

quickly. When E-mailing a Sensor, get right to the point and use

bullets.

"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.

Sullivan’s tips for composing E-mail:

Determine your personality style.

Learn the good traits and the challenging aspects of your

style.

Learn the styles of others and speak to their information

needs.

If you must issue a group E-mail, addressed to all different

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

caring

(for the feeler). If all four are in there, you have catered to

everyone

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

meaning."

For instance, the phrase "Where were you last night?" carries

a different meaning based on the intonation. If spoken, it would

probably

come across as a casual conversation starter along the lines of

"What’s

new?" But if written, it could make someone with a guilty

conscience

feel accused. Says Sullivan: "People are getting fired because

they send innocuous documents interpreted wrongly."

— Barbara Fox

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

RE/MAX of New Jersey associates have raised

$11,500

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

Children’s

Hospital of Philadelphia.

Since 1992, RE/MAX member agencies have raised more than $27.2 million

for the Children’s Miracle Network.

The March of Dimes has selected the Central NJ Maternal

& 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

marriage

license registrars in Hunterdon and Somerset counties.

The second grant enables the consortium to continue an outreach

program

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.

Johnson & Johnson has given Raritan Valley Community

College

a $25,000 grant to support nursing students by providing tuition

scholarships,

and covering some of the cost of books, fees, and licensing fees.

In a written statement, Alfred Mays, vice president, corporate

contributions

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.


Previous Story


Corrections or additions?


This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments