Many of my leadership coaching clients cite email overwhelm as a key source of their stress. Not only that, but in an organisational culture which equates being on top of your emails with effectiveness, it can impair their ability to focus on what really matters.
I did some work with a management team of a small organisation recently, a team where each member wears a few different hats, and juggles an awful lot of disparate responsibilities. We used an email charter to help them make some agreements about how and when they would use email, in order to get things done more efficiently as a team.
Check out this McCanna Coaching sample team email charter, which I’ve based on one from a company called Target Training. Feel free to use it with your own teams. My suggestion is to start small e.g. with your own operational or management team, then use any success stories to engage others around your organisation to sign up too.
How many times have you sent an email and assumed that the minute you hit ‘send’, the recipient had read and absorbed all the information you sent? How many times have you looked at your inbox and wondered how you’re going to prioritise what to action first?
I truly believe that following some simple guidelines can help us manage our expectations when sending emails, and avoid overwhelm when receiving them.
Good luck! Let me know how you get on.