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Less-Is-More Blog by Pierre Khawand

Are you an e-mail "airhead"? The 360-degree feedback!

Posted by Pierre Khawand on Tue, Aug 24, 2010 @ 06:24 AM

Last week, I wrote about 5 specific behaviors that e-mail users
tend to display, and that can drive their team's productivity down.

These behaviors were

  • Not responding to legitimate e-mails and leave others in the dark
  • Abandoning e-mail conversations in the middle and leave them hanging
  • Responding to e-mail only partially leaving important issues unanswered
  • Responding to e-mail vaguely delaying dealing with the real issues
  • Copying everyone and their brother unnecessarily

I also included a brief self-assessment (the 3-minute e-mail "airhead" test) that can help us reflect on the above behaviors and recognize how much we engage in them.

From Self to Others

While a self-assessment can be useful, the real assessment needs to include "others"; the people who send us e-mail or are on the receiving end of our e-mails, and who may have differing opinions about whether we engage in these e-mail "airhead" behaviors and to what degree.

I am inviting you to involve others in helping you assess your e-mail behaviors by sending them this 360-degree feedback form (see below), so they can give you their input on your e-mail behaviors. Forward to them the form and ask them for their feedback (anonymously if preferable). Ideally you would include people from all angles, like your colleagues, your direct reports,  your manager, and potentially people from other groups.

Download the e-mail 360-degree feedback (PDF, Microsoft Word, Web Form)

Once you gather the feedback, compare it to your own self-assessment, and see what you learn, and what adjustments you might want to make to how you manage e-mail.

Score interpretation

As a recap from last week, here is the interpretation of the score:

  • Total e-mail airhead: Total score of 15 or above
  • Semi e-mail airhead:  Total score of 10 to 14
  • Human e-mail user: Total score of 7 to 9
  • Accomplished e-mail user: Total score of 4 to 6
  • Total e-mail geek: Total score of 0 to 3

Stay tuned for more tips and techniques relating to e-mail management!

Additional resources

The Managing and Organizing Your E-mail Inbox

The Accomplishing More With Less Workbook

Topics: email etiquette, email management