Posted Under: Email Best Practices,Email Overload,Email Productivity Tips and Solutions,Information Overload,Productivity,Tips,Toxic Emailers
Have you ever received an Email Message like this?
I’d like to try what I’ll call a “virtual meeting”- I’d like to throw out a question and get everyone to do a “reply all” response to see if we can’t get some good ideas flowing. I know schedules are busy, and many of you haven’t been able to make recent meetings. Yet we want your ideas! So let’s give it a try with a question that’s been on the agenda, but has yet to be discussed: (blah blah blah)
Did you cringe? Throw your hands up in exasperation? Another well meaning (idiot) trying to hold an email meeting. Yeeesshhh.
Many have tried to hold email “discussions.” Few have worked, and this is why… When people start to “reply all” with their comments, you start to have different threads or chains of responses. There is no one central place that people can see all of them in one shot. Additionally, if the meeting needs discussion, rather than the passing of one sided info, you miss all the benefit of voice inflection and body language, which is pretty important in motivation/building consensus, etc.
If you can’t meet in person, the next best thing is teleconferencing/webconferencing. If you can’t/don’t wanna do that, then the next option is to set up a chat room with a service like Yahoo. Even though all the info is in one place, you may still have to sift thru separate email discussions or subjects, but at least it is all in one place.
Here’s another thought… You can set up a free wordpress or blogger blog, and have everyone sign up to receive notifications of a post. This way you have all the thoughts together, and chronologically. Food for thought. There may be other great ways to virtually collborate, we’d love to hear yours.
Bottom line – Email is the last resort, for the reasons mentioned above.