Electronic Communication and the Negative Impact of Miscommunication

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Electronic communications, improve efficiency and productivity, but poorly written emails can cause internal strife, low morale, and loss of clients. Effective written communication will enhance internal communications as well as external communications. The ability to write effectively is a core skill that all employees, no matter what their title is, should master. If the content of an email is unclear, grammatically incorrect or is full of typos, the email will cause misunderstandings and the possible loss of business. A chain reaction of emails or letters will occur, questioning the next course of action and clients will undoubtedly believe that we will treat them with the same carelessness we took in creating that correspondence. Case in point, a letter was recently sent to one of our clients misquoting our fees, a second letter was sent to the client correcting the fee, but was addressed to the wrong person. We have since lost this client. Jonathan Hershberg, president of Opus Associates, a communications training developer based in New York, states, "If I get an e-mail that's full of errors and I know nothing else about you," Hershberg says, "there's no reason for me not to think you'll handle my business in the same way you handled that writing." (Moerke, A, 2004) We have seen an example of this kind of writing. A benefit distribution memo was created for the wife of a deceased participant. The salutation of the letter addressed the deceased, not the wife. Correspondences regarding death benefits require special attention. Correspondence should never be addresses to the deceased. All writers should use the method of prewriting, brainstorming, writing and organizing, revising for style, and proofreading to produce memos, letters, emails, and reports The suggested percentage of time spent on each writing step is as follows: (Jaderstrom, Miller, and Office Pro June 2004)

Prewriting 12.5%
Brainstorming 25.0%...
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