Selfish Emails are Rude.

Have you ever had a moment where someone looked at you in mild disgust and said these words:  "Dude, Stop being so selfish"?

How did you feel?  Probably a little "icky".  Right?

If you have half a conscious at all, you stop whatever you are doing and think about this for a minute.

"Was I being selfish?", you immediately stop and ask yourself.

Being selfish is a bad habit.  It's one that is pretty distasteful to those that are around you.

You observe it and it kind of makes you a little annoyed -- irritated.

It's also one of those areas where most of us admit we need constant improvement (I do at least).

Here's what sparked this whole discussion:

"A few days ago, I received an email that really jumped out at me.  It was from a Sales Trainer who was trying to pitch a new relationship.

The email started something along the lines of 'I want to get to know you' but then I noticed that my name wasn't even on the email (No 'Hey Dan') and that it was BCC'd to me (and probably a dozen other people).  And then the real punchline.  Right after the opening sentence, the email jumped into 4 paragraphs of what that other Sales Trainer was doing along with coaching words on how I could attend their events and help them be successful.

To end the email, there were 8 or 9 of the obligatory links to the Sales Trainer's social presence (Twitter, Facebook, Blog...) with a note that I should connect and see what they were doing."

How would you react to this?

I archived the email and then kind of sat there in a shocked state for 45 seconds thinking "How Rude!".

And then another 15 seconds later I was chagrined remembering all the times that I had done the same thing without really trying.

Whoops.

Here's something we can all agree on -- Selfish emails are rude.

They disrupt the conversation.  They destroy relationships.

So, what can you do?

Listen to your emails.  Are you whiny, demanding, or otherwise unrealistic?  Do you take more than you give?  Is your email all about "you"?

Here are some basic guidelines to look for:

  1. Make it about the reader.  (More "You" than "I" or "me" in what you write...)
  2. State your message clearly.  (Don't be confusing or vague...)
  3. Keep the email brief. (4-5 Sentences Max)
  4. Don't demand anything.  (That's pretty clear...)

Give.  Don't take (at least until you get to know me better).

Don't be rude.

Let's work on this together.