Monday, September 26, 2011

It's time to ban 'Blackberry Behavior'!

'Blackberry Behavior' definition: A manner in which a user responds to an email with a one word reply.
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People listen..."Just because you send it from a blackberry (or other device - even your pc) a one word email is not acceptable!".

I have had enough of one word emails. And I am delighted to say that it turns out I am not the only one.

I have noticed a correlation between the more senior a manger becomes (particularly in their own mind) the shorter their emails become. This seems to be corroborated in an article from Online The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) titled Five Signs You're a Bad Boss, where the first sign listed was "Most of your emails are one word long".

Interestingly enough I have also noticed that managers who are particularly respected by their employees have a tendency not to write the one word emails.

For whatever reason there seems to be some sort of acceptance that sending an email from a mobile device in particular - Blackberry being the Godfather of email from the mobile device - that one word emails are OK. No, wrong etc etc... again "Just because you send it from a blackberry (or other device - even your pc) a one word email is not acceptable!"

If you search "email etiquette" in Google you are provided a plethora of content that points to the demise of basic communication standards. I think the example given in the WSJ article provides an excellent example of the pathetic standard set by even more pathetic managers:

"When Christina Marcus emailed an idea for a project to a former boss, he responded "Y." Thinking he was questioning her idea, she spent 20 minutes crafting a response. Turns out, the "Y" meant "yes," not "why." " Ms. Marcus eventually left the firm."

So what can we do to improve this blight on society. Simple:
  1. companies could create email etiquette policies that ban one word emails
  2. mobile device makers and the email software providers could make sending one word emails impossible
  3. anyone typing an email could use common sense (and heaven forbid, some manners)!!!
For those reading this and thinking no one could misinterpret one word emails, I would like to point you to a great blog article and suggest you to try a little reflection:  http://www.unboxedthoughts.com/2011/02/18/the-blackberry-effect-brevity-breeds-message-confusion/ 

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