Let’s Be Clear. Here’s How.

let's be clear

We’ve talked before about all of the great reasons for improving email clarity with Timyo — now let’s talk about how exactly improved clarity can help at work.

This week, we’ll take a look at why Timyo is a great tool to use with colleagues.

Everyone is the hero of their own movie.

I once listened to a friend complaining about how horrible and inconsiderate and awful drivers in his city were, especially when it came to double-parking, which was constant and terribly inconvenient. I mentioned that just the week before, I had been with him in his car and he had double-parked to run an errand. He looked at me with genuine confusion: “So? That’s different: I was in a hurry and there was nowhere to park and I was only gone for two minutes!”

The key difference, of course, is the word “I”… when my friend himself double-parked, it wasn’t a heinous crime, it was, at worst, a well-justified necessary evil.

We’re all only human, so it’s natural to worry more about our own time than anybody else’s. At work, we expect others to get back to us instantaneously, but we all have perfectly good reasons for putting off responding to somebody else’s email until next week or next year.

With Timyo, it’s easy to tell your colleagues simply and clearly when you actually need a response from them. By taking a few seconds before sending to let them know when (or even if) you’d like a reply, you show them that you respect their time as much as you do your own.

Beyond being a thoughtful colleague, this has selfish benefits for you. (Which is nice, because as great as it is to do nice things for other people, it’s even better when those things are nice for you as well.)

To wit:

Out of sight, out of mind.

If you don’t need a response until next Thursday, say, because you won’t be able to act on anything anyway until a separate meeting that hasn’t happened yet, then asking for a reply in a week keeps that reply from cluttering your inbox until you are actually ready to deal with it.

Don’t cry wolf.

Right now, too many businesses have a climate of “automatic ASAP”. By letting colleagues know when you actually need a reply, even if that’s not until tomorrow or next week, you teach them to trust that you respect their time. So the next time you really do need a reply ASAP, you can let them know that and they will be much more likely to get back to you immediately.

The good ol’ Golden Rule.

My mom always said, “you teach others how to treat you.” I think this is especially true with your work peers. You are all in the same boat. By showing the generosity and respect implicit in setting clear expectations for them, you provide the model of how you’d like to be treated as well. This is way better than an angry note in the break room reminding everyone to PLEASE STAY AWAY from Debbie’s VERY-CLEARLY MARKED sandwiches.

Good things come…

Keeping with our old saw/aphorism theme, by giving your colleagues the gift of time, you also drastically increase the odds that they will actually send a reply worth reading. Rather than shooting off a response in five seconds to get it out of their way, they can actually take the time to read, consider, and respond carefully.

Of course, Timyo can’t solve every work problem. But by setting clear expectations with Timyo, you can go a long way toward creating a happy work environment.

Just remember to stay the hell away from Debbie’s sandwiches.

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