Provide some details

This post might seem contradictory from my post the other day (http://lawrencefineblogs.com/2011/05/if-you-want-a-reply-to-an-email-be-brief/ ) when I wrote “If you want a reply to an email, be brief” but there does come a point where you need to supply adequate information in order to avoid wasting everyone’s time.

As an example, if a person emails asking to set up a meeting the exchange might go as follows:

“are you available for a meeting next week?”
“sure”
“when would be good for you?”
“how about Tuesday at 2PM?”
“Tuesday isn’t good for me, how about Wed at 9AM?”
“I have a call at that time, how about Wed at 11AM?
“Sure that is good”

An alternative would be:

“Are you available for a meeting next week? If so, how about either Wed at 11AM or Thursday at 8AM work best for me, just let me know and I can meet you at your office”
“Wed at 11AM is perfect thanks”
“See you then”

Simply by providing some options can result in a much shorter exchange, less stress for all and more efficiencies.

Provide enough information to allow for proper decisions but don’t waste anyone’s time with excess information.

Have a great day!

Lawrence

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