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Schriftliche Kommunikation

Professionelle und effektive Kommunikation per E-Mail, Teil 1

Gerade bei E-Mails ist effektives Zeitmanagement gefragt.

Fakt ist, dass die User zwischen einer halben und vier Stunden täglich mit E-Mails beschäftigt sind.

Das schreit geradezu nach einem effektiven Zeitmanagement.

Gehen wir aber als Grundvoraussetzung davon aus, dass Sie Ihren E-Mail-Eingang bereits effektiv gestalten und nur die wirklich wichtigen Nachrichten herausfiltern und beantworten.

Und genau darum geht es hier: um den E-Mail-Postausgang.

Wann ist eine E-Mail angebracht?

In every day life writing an e-mail often seems to be the better alternative to telephoning, as we don’t need to react at once. But quite often a phone call would be better, quicker and more personal.

In the age of globalisation you have to consider other factors, too: a phone call to someone in different time zones might be inconvenient – for them.

Once you have made up your mind, you have to consider other, more formal aspects of e-mails.

Optimieren Sie die Form Ihrer E-Mail

If you bear in mind that people will read your e-mail on the PC or even a PDA screen, it is obvious that you have more restrictions than in a letter.

The reading speed slows down by about 25 %.

To make your e-mail readable, think of the following aspects:

  • make it short (use the kiss formula: “keep it short and simple”),
  • try to keep it on one screen,
  • use bullet points (like this one),
  • get to the point at once, let explanations follow (if necessary),
  • if you have to write a longer text, make it worthwhile,
  • put your thoughts into short, logical paragraphs
  • you can use contractions in e-mails (I’ve, you’d, he’s …).

Der perfekte Aufbau

Because of the number of e-mails we receive everyday, a perfect structure is important for the reader.You run the risk of your mail being dropped into therecycle bin if the reader thinks it is spam.

Klarheit in der Betreffzeile

Remember spam of the type “enlarge your XY”.

Make your subject line as significant as that. Ideallyit summarises your e-mail, indicates what you expect,and serves as a keyword for the recipient’s documentation.

Some examples

  • next meeting
  • Minutes FYI
  • Answer required by 8 p.m.
  • Your enquiry of Monday, 7 October
  • Action needed by Tuesday

„Dear DuSie“ – die gelungene Anrede

An e-mail needs a salutation, even if it is a new kind of communication, especially in business! The important question is how formal should your salutation be in the beginning?

Many English-speaking business partners will be quick to use first names. If you choose the surname salutation, you might seem distant and unfriendly.

It is easy to respond to an e-mail. If it is signed using the person’s first name, just do the same and use the first name for your salutation. If you are the first to e-mail, here are some suggestions:

If you don’t know the person or group at all:

  • Dear Sir or Madam
  • Dear customers
  • Dear partners

If you are contacting the person for the first time (especially outside the company):

  • Dear Ms Peters
  • Dear Mr Klose
  • Dear Dr Meyer

If you know the person or members of the group better (colleagues and friends):

  • Dear Greta
  • Hello Peter
  • Hi everyone/all/there
  • Dear team
Das Wichtigste in den ersten Satz

The opening sentence of your e-mail should provide your reader with the most important detail: the reason you are writing.

If you have already put this information into the subject line, you don’t have to repeat it. If not, here are some suggestions:

Reference to former contacts:

  • I’m writing with regard to our phone call of …(date). Further to your letter of …(date)
  • Referring to your e-mail of …(date)
  • with regard to our meeting in …(place) on …(date)

Reason for writing:

  • I’m writing on account of …
  • I’d like to inform you that …
  • We’d like to draw your attention to (the fact that) …
  • My reason for contacting you is … 

Maureen Brown ist in London aufgewachsen. Sie hat viele Jahre als Assistentin und Sekretärin im Management eines Unternehmens gearbeitet und ist heute für die Bezirksregierung
in Surrey, Südengland, aktiv.

Jennifer Hohensteiner ist in den USA groß geworden. Sie hat den Master’s Degree in Political Science und lebt seit 1990 in Deutschland. Hier hat sie langjährige Berufserfahrung als Fremdsprachensekretärin, Wirtschaftsübersetzerin und Trainerin für Business English.

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