com·mu·ni·ca·tion

[kuh-myoo-ni-key-shuhn]

Noun

1. the act or process of communicating; fact of being communicated.

2. the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs.

3. something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted.

4. a document or message imparting news, views, information, etc.

5. passage, or an opportunity or means of passage, between places.

Always be clear in your communications. We are all traveling at 1,000 miles an hour on the web so the important thing here is not to make people think.

Be specific. If you are e-mailing about a date and time to get together on something, always include the exact day, date, and time (eg I am available Sunday Jan 1, 2012 at 2pm pacific time). It seems like a lot but we are on the Internet which means we are dealing with people all over the place. Don’t assume that everyone in your e-mail thread is in your time zone. For one thing it’s arrogant!

Always include your contact information. This seems so basic and obvious but all too often I am reading an e-mail from someone and I want to call them and there is no phone # there. I am actually shocked at how often this happens. Every e-mail client provides for a signature. Don’t attach a Vcard. It may look cool in some e-mail clients, but not in all of them and I cannot copy and paste the information which is often what I want to do! You also want your website included here so I can easily forward your information to someone if I want to refer you business.

Use the phone. So much gets lost in translation in an e-mail which can lead a conversation to go sideways very quickly. People behave better on the phone because they actually have to deal with your reaction. This is a HUGE time saver too. You can get right to the point and get there quickly. Then send a follow up e-mail to confirm any understandings that need to be confirmed.