Business Email Fundamentals-INSTRUCTOR-Guide by yaofenji

VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 28

									         INSTRUCTORS’ GUIDE



          Business
     Email Fundamentals
                        A Soft Skill Lesson

                                A
                     Business/CIS Education
                       Statewide Advisory
                       Committee (BESAC)
                             Project



Business Email Fundamentals               Page 1 of 28
                                     Table of Contents



Introduction………………………………………………………………………………….………………… 03


How to Use the Soft Skills Module, Business Email Fundamentals……………………………………. 03


Evaluation………………………………………………………………………………………………………04


Business Email Fundamentals Presentation……………………….………………………………………05


Business Email Fundamentals Review and Quiz …………………………………..………………….....13


Business Email Fundamentals Test…………………………….……………………………………….….18


Business Email Fundamentals Test Answers………………….……………………………………….….19


Business Email Fundamentals Group Discussions ……………………………………………..……….20


Soft Skills Research Project – The Need for Softskills……………………………………………….……21

     The Research Base

     Identification of Specific Soft Skills

     Statistics and Additional Data on Soft Skills

     The Results

Credits……………………………………………………………………………………………………….…28




Business Email Fundamentals                               Page 2 of 28
                       How to Use the Soft Skills Module
                        Business Email Fundamentals

Introduction:


This Instructors’ Guide is designed to be used with the video titled "Business Email Fundamentals."

It was created by business people for the California Community College System for BESAC (the

Business/CIS Education Statewide Advisory Committee). The primary objective of the Business

Email Fundamentals course is to teach students the importance of writing proper and accurate

Business Emails when they start their first job, or jobs at which they are working early in their career.

This Instructors’ Guide is to be used with the video of the same name which is available on-line on

the BESAC website, www.calbusinessed.org


How to Use the Soft Skills Module - Business Email Fundamentals

There are several ways faculty who have seen the materials have recommended their use. Some of

these are:

       1. As an ice breaker in class, they give a good basis for a discussion. Several faculty have

             taken the concepts and applied them to the area in which they are teaching. For example,

             one CIS faculty member in talking about the problems caused by improper emails at work.

       2. As a tag in class, they give a good basis for discussion. Faculty has suggested that on the

             occasions when they don’t have time (for example: before some semester/quarter

             milestone) to start a new unit, they introduce soft skills concepts.

       3. Some faculty have said they have no time to use these materials in class. However, they

             put the materials on the website and ask the students to write on topics pertaining to the

             module (see the evaluation section).

Business Email Fundamentals                                                     Page 3 of 28
          They then conduct on-line discussions with the students. NOTE: The module is broken up

          into chapters (each length given in minutes and seconds) to make it easy for dissemination

          and tracking.


Evaluation
There are several ways that one can evaluate students on their work with the Business Email

Fundamentals soft skills module. Writing a response to the video experience provides the faculty

member with not only the verification of content, but also a chance to work with the student on his/her

writing skills. Some of the topics that can be assigned for writing include:

       1. How does personal email differ from business email?

       2. How does effective business email writing help overcome misunderstandings?

       3. The following assignment will be given at the end of Review section of the video: Send your

          instructor a business email with any three key points that you have learned from the

          Business Email Fundamentals video.




Business Email Fundamentals                                                    Page 4 of 28
           Business Email Fundamentals Presentation

Hi, my name is Galen Guseman and this is a special soft skills presentation for the California
community colleges. This lesson is on Business Email Fundamentals. From 1993 to 2007 business
email has grown to over 550 million in-boxes. 91% of all Internet users have email accounts and 183
billion – that’s B for a billion - messages are sent each day. Email is now a mainstay in all
businesses. This presentation is going to inform you how to use email as an effective tool in
business. It is important for you to know that the e-mail you send out will say a lot about you and who
you are. So let’s get into Business email fundamentals.

Oh, by the way, we are going to break this lesson into two major sections: The first will be the 10
Rules of Business email and the second will be the 6 Key Steps that go into creating an effective and
professional email. Finally, we will have a review section followed by the summary.

Chapter One ~ Length 0:47
Business email is totally different than your personal email. You must learn how to create and
respond to business email in a professional manner. There are even email liabilities that you must
know about in order to protect you, your job and your company. Employers have the legal right to
examine and archive all employee emails and instant messaging.

Look in your employee handbook or ask Human Resources for a copy of the Corporate Email Policy
for your company. Review it... and be aware... if you violate this policy, you will definitely face
disciplinary action.

Chapter Two ~ Length 2:36
Rule number one is Be brief. Nobody wants to read a long email. Be concise with your information
and don’t make it any longer than it needs to be. You want to make your point as soon as possible
and not linger on redundant information. The professional email is concise and to the point. When
you do this you have a better chance of it getting read and answered.

Answer all questions is the second rule. When replying to an email make sure that you answer ALL
the questions asked of you. This will prevent ADDITIONAL emails from being sent and reduces the
possibility of miscommunications. It also shows that you are professional enough to have read and
responded to the ENTIRE email, not just a portion.

Rule number three; Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Poor spelling, grammar and
punctuation errors will give you a bad reputation. Remember, your email may be forwarded to others
in the company or even customers without your knowledge. And you don’t want to make a bad
impression. Emails without periods or commas are difficult to read and can sometimes even change
the meaning of what you are trying to say.




Business Email Fundamentals                                                Page 5 of 28
Here is a Case Study.
One of the warehouse workers sent his assistant manager an email that asked if it was ok to scrap all
of the parts for an obsolete project. The assistant manager was on the road and only had his Cell
phone to reply to the request. He sent back just two words – dont stop - When he got back to the
warehouse, he realized that he forgot to put punctuation in the email, because what he really wanted
to say was “don’t ! Stop !” Too late, the materials were gone and the assistant manager was trying to
figure out how he was going to tell his boss about the mistake.

 Proper spelling, grammar and punctuation are necessary in business today. It helps with
communications and makes you look more professional than those who don’t use it.


Chapter Three ~ Length 2:00

Reply quickly is rule number four. Emailing is now the primary form of written communications for
business and people expect quick replies. A study recently found that 88% of the business people
expect a response within 24 hours. Make sure that you always reply within the business day that you
got the email. If you need time to gather information, let the sender know that you got the email and
are working on it. If there are any further delays, be sure to update them so they do not have to send
follow-up emails.

Rule number five is Do not write in CAPITALS. Typing in Capitals makes it appear you are shouting.
This is improper email netiquette. By the way, the term netiquette is derived from the phrase
"network etiquette" which was a termed coined back in 1988. Capitalizing words in an email can be
very annoying to the reader and may come off as very emotional and unprofessional. You do not
want any email communications to be misinterpreted.

Don't leave out the message thread is the sixth rule. A message thread is a group of messages that
were sent in reply to each other. The original message is first in the thread; the reply to this message
is second in the thread, and so forth. Without this information, it may be difficult for the reader to
know or remember what was going on in the previous emails. If there are no message threads, all
you have to do is to select “Reply” to the message.

-
Chapter Four ~ Length 4:40
The seventh rule is Watch your formatting. Non-standard fonts and sizes may not be able to be
viewed by other email programs used by your customers or vendors. Always use Arial or Times
Roman fonts in 10 or 12 point sizes. These are easily read by ALL email programs. Stay away from
different colors if you can.

If you have to use a color be sure to use a color that is easy to read on the background you are using.
Also it is best to stay away from Internet slang when using business email. Some examples of
internet slang are: "lol" meaning "laugh out loud" or “imho” In my humble opinion or “dgms” for “don’t
get me started.” Avoid the truncation and morphing of words. You never know when these new
words will confuse or annoy the reader.



Business Email Fundamentals                                                 Page 6 of 28
The eighth rule is very important. Avoid sending confidential information. Sending an email is like
posting the data on a bulletin board. If it is confidential, keep it out of email. This may include
corporate classified or sensitive information, social security numbers, user names, passwords, credit
card numbers, or other account information. Confidential data put into emails may be hacked from
the outside or end up in a corporate court case. Almost 13% of domestic companies have battled
lawsuits triggered by employee e-mail, so never, ever, send any confidential information via email.

Never send libelous or offensive remarks is rule number nine. It has been reported that almost 50%
of email business users send or receive risky content that has included offensive jokes, gossip,
confidential information or even pornography. You could be fired and your company could face
litigation resulting in multi-million dollar penalties if you send or even forward any type of sexist,
defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene comments in corporate emails. You should also stay away
from statements on gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disabilities, religious or political
beliefs. Even if they were originally just meant to be a joke, you and your company could get into a
lot of trouble.

And talking about humor, try to stay away from humor when writing business emails. Not everyone
thinks the same things are funny and may take offense to your jokes. In fact a report recently
revealed that only 55% of email readers were able to accurately communicate sarcasm and humor. It
is safer not to do it at all.

 Do not air your grievances or problems about colleagues, customers or the organization. Never write
an email when you are angry or upset. Words can cut deep and once you push the send button the
email is gone and you can NEVER get it back. As a final point, personal attacks should always be
avoided in emails. If you have a personal problem with someone, go see them in person or pick up
the phone. NEVER get into email wars.

The tenth and final email rule is READ it before you SEND it. This sounds simple, but most people
don’t do it. And you can tell who those people are by the spelling and grammar mistakes contained in
their emails. In addition, re-reading your emails a second time will help you send a more effective
message and avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate comments. This will enhance your written
communications and give you a positive and polished reputation.


Chapter Five ~ Length 1:43
It is time to reveal the 6 Key Steps to writing an effective and professional email.
Key STEP number one is: Determine your email destination. It may be an individual or it may be a
group. If you are requesting something to be done, the "Send To" field should only have that
person’s name, otherwise no one will know who is being asked to reply. If you are sending out an
informational Email, such as the new location of the meeting, be sure you put ALL the names that will
be attending the meeting into the "SEND TO" field.

The Second Step is completing the CC or Carbon Copy field. This is like telling someone FYI or for
your information. Try not to use this field unless the recipient knows WHY they are receiving a copy
of the message. Otherwise it may be confusing to know WHO is supposed to act on the message.




Business Email Fundamentals                                                   Page 7 of 28
The "Subject" field is the third step in the creation of your email. The subject field must be short and
meaningful with only one subject per email. And remember, emails may not be read the same day
they are sent, so stay away from such phases as “interviews tomorrow” or “Meeting today”. Your
reader may be on vacation or out sick. Clarify the subject line with such information as “Interviews on
Wednesday March 12th” or “Meeting Today March 11th”. This will keep the time line consistent and
reduce the chance of miscommunications.


Chapter Six ~ Length 1:30
The Fourth Step is the actual writing of the Body of the email. When composing your email, use the
same words that you use when speaking. Never use complex words or those you do not fully
understand. Write clear, short paragraphs and be direct and to the point. If an email looks too busy
or complex, most people will not read it. Use “Bullet” points if you feel it will be a more effective way
to present your information. Be polite, business-like and cordial. Business people want e-mail
messages in simple, easy to read and understandable sentences. Make sure you use punctuation
and proper grammar.

If you are asking specific questions, keep all the questions together and “bulleted” to make them
stand by themselves.

The Fifth step is your Signature Block located at the bottom of the email. Think of it as an electronic
copy of your business card. It should include the following information:
 Your full name
 Title
 Company name
 Address
 Phone number with extension
 Company website address.

This may seem to be overkill, but when sending emails to customers, they may not recognize you if it
is just signed “Tom in shipping" or “Samantha from accounting.”
---------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Seven ~ Length 4:41

The Sixth and final step is the proof-reading. It is also the most important step in this entire process
so listen closely. I know you have a lot of things to do in your job and you are really busy, but you
MUST take time to proof-read your emails before you send them out. Once sent, you cannot get it
back, and there have been some situations that resulted in terminations because of embarrassing
emails being sent to the wrong people.

Here is another Case Study. Susan had just started working at a big law firm for a few months. Her
best friend, Julie also worked there and they were always using the company email to gossip about
their dates and love lives of others in the office. One morning Susan revealed, in great detail, an
affair she was having with one of the potential partners in the company.




 Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 8 of 28
When she went to send the email to Julie, she accidentally sent it to the distribution list for the entire
company! After weeks of snickering and grins from her co-workers, she was so embarrassed that
she actually ended up quitting her job and moving to another city!

Never send personal information thru the company email. Always read the entire email at least twice.
When reading it for the first time through make sure everything makes sense.
Did you leave out any important details?
Did you answer all the questions?

On The second pass look for any grammar, spelling or punctuation mistakes. Review the "SEND TO"
and “CC” fields to verify the correct people are getting the email. If you are going to reply "To ALL",
make sure everyone on the list NEEDS a reply. You do not want to send out email to people who
don’t need it! Re-read the subject field to ensure it makes sense. Next, do a spell check of the body
of the text. But remember that spell checking will not catch those words that were spelled right, but
are used incorrectly, such as “you” for “your” or “here” for “hear”. It may also show some acronyms as
misspellings. When proofing look for common punctuation errors and any other problems with
grammar.

The final proof should be for spelling of names and numbers used in sentences. Double-check all the
individual names because it is so easy to misspell a person’s name and spell check may not catch it.
If you don’t catch it, you can be sure your recipient will and that will be embarrassing and highly
unprofessional.

Now is the time to also make sure that any attachments you have referred to are now part of your
email. You don’t want to have to send out a second email with an apology about missing an
attachment!

Remember, it will take additional time to proofread your business emails, but it is well worth it! Every
single piece of written communication you send out is a reflection of you AND the quality of your
work. Any problems with your email will be quite obvious to your reader and whether you like it or
not… they will judge you on your written communication soft skills.

You ALWAYS want to project a positive and professional image with your emails. When you reply to
an email be sure that you know where it is going. You may not want to send a “REPLY ALL”
response.

Look at the distribution and determine who really needs to see the reply. And don’t forget our Case
Study about accidentally sending correspondence to everyone! In addition, never reply to an email
with just “YES” or “NO”- Always repeat the question along with your answer so there will be no
misunderstandings.




 Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 9 of 28
Email Creation ~ Length 5:12 NOTE: Talent Speaking in Green and Email Guest Typing in Blue

Now we are going to have our guest employee create an email based on what we have learned
today. Our guest employee needs to send an email to some of the key managers on a change
of meeting location and time along with a new agenda as an attachment.

First of all let us start with the "TO" field, who does the email need to go to.

TO: R Jackson, L Owen, S Jones, C Smith, B Wang, A Newman, J Foster, K Kramer, D Bank,
E Allen, M Simmons, A Murray

OK, you just selected one of your mail groups, do you really need to send it to ALL OF THEM,
and is anyone missing?

(Visitor goes back and erases about half of the names, adds G Brwn)
TO: R Jackson, L Owen, C Smith, B Wang, A Newman, G Brwn, D Bank

OK, that is good, you are just sending to the people who have a need to know…
Next, is there anyone you need to COPY? Such as you supervisor?

CC: P Howard

Good! Always keep your supervisor informed as to what you are doing! Now we need fill out
the SUBJECT field

SUBJECT: Meeting

Well, I think you need a little more information than that. Remember, we want to use the key
words to this email?

(Visitor goes back and erases everything and types the following:)
SUBJECT: Change of location and time of Status meeting

Very Good! That tells us a lot more detailed information. Now let's move on to the BODY of the
email and write it.

BODY: ATTENTION, THIS Whoa! Whoa! Don't forget that when you use caps, it appears that
you are shouting

(Visitor goes back and erases, and retypes in lower case)
BODY: Attention, this is to inform you that the Status meeting has been changed to Wednesday
and… OK, let's make sure that we are not causing any misunderstanding. Wouldn't it be better
to add the exact date so everyone knows for sure?

(Visitor goes back and erases back to Wednesday and adds date)
BODY: Attention, this is to inform you that the Status meeting has been changed to Wednesday April
14, at 2:00 and will now be held in Conference room #2. The new adgenda is attached, Please let me
know if you have any question or cannot make the new meeting time.
Thank you!

Business Email Fundamentals                                              Page 10 of 28
Super! Short, accurate and to the point! It is now time to fill out the signature block

Skippy from the "hole"

Well, that does not look very professional, and not everyone will know your nickname. Why
don't you try it again?
(Visitor goes back and erases everything and retypes signature block)
William Henderson
IT Administrator
Acme Industries
123 Main St
Basement Level
Anywhere, USA
99999

Very Professional! Now let's do a re-read and look for any problems… First of all, double
check the "TO" and "CC" names.

TO: R Jackson, L Owen, C Smith, B Wang, A Newman, G Brwn, D Bank
Does it appear that everyone that needs this email is on the list? GOOD! How about spelling
of the names? Are all accurate?

(Visitor goes back and corrects the spelling of the BROWN name)
TO: R Jackson, L Owen, C Smith, B Wang, A Newman, G Brown, D Bank
CC: P Hogan

Excellent! You never want to misspell any names, first or last names! Now let’s re-read the
Subject area and make sure the keywords makes sense. Ok, now let’s review the body of the
text.

(Visitor goes back and changes "Question" to "Questions")
BODY: Attention, this is to inform you that the Status meeting has been changed to Wednesday April
14, at 2:00 and will now be held in Conference room #2. The new adgenda is attached, Please let me
know if you have any questions or cannot make the new meeting time. Thank you!

Very Good! Remember, you want to impress with your emails and little things like this. Now
lets so a "spell check"

BODY: Attention, this is to inform you that the Status meeting has been changed to Wednesday April
14, at 2:00 and will now be held in Conference room #2. The new adgenda is attached, Please let me
know if you have any questions or cannot make the new meeting time. Thank you!


(Spell Check finds agenda spelled incorrectly)

BODY: Attention, this is to inform you that the Status meeting has been changed to Wednesday April
14, at 2:00 and will now be held in Conference room #2. The new agenda is attached, Please let me
know if you have any questions or cannot make the new meeting time. Thank you!

Business Email Fundamentals                                             Page 11 of 28
That's good! Now let's verify the signature block:

William Henderson
IT Administrator
Acme Industries
123 Main St
Basement Level
Anywhere, USA 99999
888-999-0000 x1234
w.henderson@acme.com

Now, we have one last item to check before we send the email, do you remember what it is?

ATTACHMENT: New Agenda

Yes! Excellent! It is very embarrassing to send out an email referring to an email attachment
when it is missing! You are now ready to send your email. I know if took a few extra minutes to
follow this procedure but we now have a professional, error-free, short, accurate email
directed only to the people who need to know. A good start to a professional reputation.
Good JOB!

ASSIGNMENT: Send your instructor a business email with any three key points that you have
learned from the Business Email Fundamentals video.
---------------------------------------------------------


Summary
Too many business people take a casual approach to email and that's the wrong attitude. Email
needs to be taken seriously. If you think of an email as a business letter and give it the respect it
deserves, you'll always make the right impression. Don't assume your email will be read only by the
person you are sending it to. By using proper email etiquette you too can have a professional image.
You can be known for writing efficient email that is easy to read and gets to the point.

Once you learn and use these Business Email Fundamentals soft skills, you will earn a reputation of
having effective written communication skills and being a professional communicator. Good Luck, and
thanks for watching!


                                       End Video Presentation




Business Email Fundamentals                                               Page 12 of 28
          Business Email Fundamentals Review and Quiz

                                       Review and Quiz as Presented on Video
                                                   Quiz in BLUE


Business Email Fundamentals
Review and Quiz
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Email Statistics
 Business email over 550 million in-boxes
 183 billion emails sent daily
 91% Internet users have email
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 13% of companies have lawsuits from employee e-mail
 50% of emails have risky content
 Only 55% can accurately communicate humor
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter One
 There are email liabilities
 Employers can read all your emails
 Face disciplinary action if policy violated
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Business email is different than personal email
---------------------------------------------
Chapter Two
Rule 1 - Be brief
 Get to your point and it will get read and answered
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
No one wants to read long emails
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 2 - Answer all questions
 Prevents additional emails
 Reduces miscommunications
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 3 - Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation= bad reputation
Emails without punctuation are difficult to read
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Your emails may be forwarded to others
 Poorly written email can have different meanings
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



 Business Email Fundamentals                                                               Page 13 of 28
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Three
Rule 4 - Reply quickly
88% expect a response within
 a) 2 days
 b) Immediately
 c) 24 hours
 d) None of the above
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 5 - Do not write in CAPITALS
 It appears you are SHOUTING
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Netiquette from the term "network etiquette"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 6 - Don't leave out message threads
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Threads are messages sent previously
 Original is 1st, Reply is 2nd and so forth
 Without threads emails are difficult to read
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Four
Rule 7 - Watch your formatting
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Use Arial and/or Times Roman fonts
 Use 10 or 12 point sizes
 Avoid odd colors
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avoid Internet slang such as:
      "lol" “imho” or “dgms”
Avoid word truncation or morphing
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 8 - Avoid sending confidential information
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Confidential data can be hacked
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 9 - Never send libelous or offensive remarks
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avoid which email topic:
     a) Asking a co-worker to lunch
     b) Informing someone about a new employee
     c) Telling a co-worker the latest gossip
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Avoid statements on:
      Sexual orientation
      National origin
      Religious or political beliefs
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 Business Email Fundamentals                                                               Page 14 of 28
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 You or your company could face litigation
 Never send angry emails
 Avoid humor in emails
 Once an email is sent, you cannot get it back
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rule 10 - Read it BEFORE you send it
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Avoid misunderstandings
 Create a positive reputation
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Five
6 Key Steps to writing an effective email
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STEP #1 Determine email destination
 Send informational emails to ALL involved
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Step #2 completing the CC field
 Same as “for your information” (FYI)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do not send a “CC” unless the recipient knows why
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Step #3 The "Subject" field
Must be short and meaningful
One subject per email
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Six
Step #4 Writing the Body of the email
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Emails should be simple, easy to read
 Keep questions together
 Be polite, business-like and cordial
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Step #5 Signature Block
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Electronic copy of your business card
 Without the signature block, you may not be recognized
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter Seven
Step #6 Proofreading
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Always read the entire email twice
 Verify everything makes sense
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Once sent, you cannot get it ba
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



 Business Email Fundamentals                                                               Page 15 of 28
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Spell checking does not catch everything
 Make sure attachments are part of the email
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 You are judged by your written communication
 Project a professional image with emails
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Never reply with just “Yes” or “No”
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Use these Business Email Fundamentals
and earn a reputation of being a professional communicator
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ASSIGNMENT: Students, now send an email to your instructor and include three key
Points of Business Email fundamentals
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Business Email Fundamentals
Review and Quiz
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                         END Review and Quiz




Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 16 of 28
                  Business Email Fundamentals Test

                                          True or False
1-Business email is the same as your personal email …………………..………………………….T or F

2-Employers do NOT have the authority to read your business emails………….…………….… T or F

3-Improper punctuation can change the meaning of your emails…………………….………….... T or F

4-88% of business people think you should answer emails within 24 hours ….……………….... T or F

5-Typing in CAPS makes it appear that you are shouting ………………………..……………….. T or F

6-Message threads should be included in all emails that need them …………………………….. T or F

7-Internet Slang such as “lol” or “imho” should be avoided in business emails ……………….… T or F

8-It is acceptable to send confidential information via email as long as you
     have an anti-virus program in place……..….………………………………………………….… T or F

9-You should only send offensive remarks to people you know ………………………………….. T or F

10-The best way to settle a grievance with another person is to do it through email …………… T or F

11-Always re-read your emails before you send them ……………………………………………… T or F

12-NEVER use the CC (carbon copy) section of the email ………………………………………… T or F

13-Try to put as much information as you can in the subject line …………….…………..……….. T or F

14-When composing your email, always use the same words that you use when you
   are speaking ………………….…………………………………………………..………………... T or F

15- Your signature block is like an “Electronic Business Card” ……………………………………. T or F

16-Proof reading all your emails should became a habit .………………………………………….. T or F

17-Spell Checking your emails is a waste of time …………………………………………………….T or F

18-Most people do not care if you misspell their names in emails ……………..………………….. T or F

19- When responding to an email, always repeat the question along with your answer……..….. T or F

20-Learning and using Business Email Soft Skills, will earn you a positive reputation …………..T or F




Business Email Fundamentals                                             Page 17 of 28
           Business Email Fundamentals Quiz Answers

                                             Test answers

1- Business email is the same as your personal email
False – Reference Chapter 1

2- Employers do NOT have the authority to read your business emails
False – Reference Chapter 1

3- Improper punctuation can change the meaning of your emails
True – Reference Chapter 2

4-88% of business people think you should answer emails within 24 hours
False – Reference Chapter

5- Typing in CAPS makes it appear that you are shouting
True – Reference Chapter 3

6- Message threads should be included in all emails that need them
True – Reference Chapter 3

7- Internet Slang such as “lol” or “imho” should be avoided in business emails
True – Reference Chapter 4

8- It is acceptable to send confidential information via email as long as you have an anti-virus
     program in place
False – Reference Chapter 4

9- You should only send offensive remarks to people you know
False – Reference Chapter 4

10- The best way to settle a grievance with another person is to do it through email
False – Reference Chapter 4

11- Always re-read your emails before you send them
True – Reference Chapter 4

12- NEVER use the CC (carbon copy) section of the email
False – Reference Chapter 5

13- Try to put as much information as you can in the subject line
False – Reference Chapter 5



Business Email Fundamentals                                                 Page 18 of 28
14- When composing your email, always use the same words that you use when you
    are speaking
True – Reference Chapter 6

15- Your signature block is like an “Electronic Business Card”
True – Reference Chapter 6

16-Proof reading all your emails should became a habit
True – Reference Chapter 7

17- Spell Checking your emails is a waste of time
False – Reference Chapter 7

18- Most people do not care if you misspell their names in emails
False – Reference Chapter 7

19- When responding to an email, always repeat the question along with your answer
True – Reference Chapter 7

20- Learning and using Business Email Soft Skills, will earn you a positive reputation
True – Reference Summary



Questions for Group Discussion

      Discuss some situations where using personal email traits could get you in trouble at work.

      Can you name any situations where email has cause problems in a business? Remember
       Enron?

      How will these ideas on Business Email Fundamentals help you in business?

      Describe a situation when a person sent you a poorly written email

      ASSIGNMENT: Send your instructor a business email with any three key points that you have
       learned from the Business Email Fundamentals video.




Business Email Fundamentals                                                 Page 19 of 28
                           Soft Skills Research Project

Objective:

In the past, businesses have complained to BESAC that graduates do not have the “Soft Skills” that

they need. They have expressed their concerns that while the graduates (and returning students)

almost always seem to have a good education in their major, they do not have the soft skills needed

to completely support their positions. Specifically, they have communications problems. This puts

an additional burden on the business community to have better qualified staff members make up for

the shortcoming of the graduates.



Employers also report that even some staff who have been with them for a few years continue to

exhibit similar “soft skills shortcomings”. This problem appears to be especially critical in the

technical industries. It is important to have the ability to write reports, give simple presentations and

work in team productivity in business today.

This research project (performed by Hartley & Associates) asked the following questions:

Does the California business community have employees or candidates for employment who listen

and perform as directed?

   1) Do they demonstrate SOFT SKILLS problems?

   2) If so, which of the Soft Skills need to be addressed?

   3) What can BESAC do to assist the business community in this effort?




 Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 20 of 28
The Research Base:

In order to get an accurate sampling of the 870,000 businesses in California, the 670,000 public

administration organizations were eliminated in order to reach the 200,000 remaining commercial

businesses. Out of over 100 companies contacted, Hartley & Associates performed phone interviews

with 26 California businesses. They were queried about soft skills needs and were requested to send

letters documenting their opinions. In order to get a good industrial cross section, Hartley &

Associates interviewed the following different industries in the Southern California area:

•        Architectural                    •       Media Placement Company

•        Biometrics                       •       Mortgage

•        Corporate Education              •       Museum

•        Entertainment Production         •       Real Estate

•        Finance & Collections            •       Recruiting (5)

•        Healthcare                       •       Rehabilitation

•        High Tech Consulting             •       Retail

•        Local Government                 •       Software Company (2)

•        Manufacturer (2)

A special effort was made to contact five different recruiting firms since they talk, interview, and

interface with more people on an annual basis than most others.

Identification of Specific Soft Skills

We asked our survey base to identify the specific “soft skills” to complete the research Hartley &

Associates investigated. The total list below was created:

•        Listening                                •        Problem solving skills

    Business Email Fundamentals                                                Page 21 of 28
•        Writing                                 •   Common sense

•        Reading                                 •   Policy and Procedures creation

•        Public speaking                         •   Career Planning

•        Giving Presentations                    •   Self-control

•        Adaptability                            •   Self-assessment

•        Working in a group or team              •   Self-discipline

•        Interviewing                            •   Self-marketing

•        Assertiveness                           •   Stress management

•        Customer Relations Skills               •   Reputation

•        Dependability                           •   Telephone Skills

•        Dress Codes                             •   Trust

•        Romantic office relationships           •   Email etiquette

•        Office management                       •   Becoming a leader

•        Working with the boss                   •   Change management

•        Working with others (Peer to peer)      •   Negotiating

•        Organizational skills                   •   Self improvement

•        Sales skills- i.e. selling your ideas   •   Building a personal network

•        Empathy                                 •   Chain of command

•        Ethics                                  •   How to speak up

•        Etiquette                               •   Office Politics

•        Flexibility                             •   Resume writing

•        Ability to work under pressure          •   Basic math skills

                                                      (This is a HARD skill)

•        Overall business acumen                 •   Grammar

•        Professional demeanor                   •   Emotional intelligence

    Business Email Fundamentals                                          Page 22 of 28
•          Leadership Skills                         •   Initiative



Statistics and Additional Data on Soft Skills

Hartley & Associates performed an intense Internet investigation into the problems of Soft Skills. Out

of twenty-six interviews, twenty-four business representatives reported a concern with soft skills.

Only two interviewees did not feel it to be a problem and both admitted that since they were in senior

management positions, they did not typically interface with anyone other than their administrative

assistants or other senior managers.



The following statistics and data were pulled from studies, articles, and white papers from 2001 to

present. This is what we found:

53% of all CIO’s offer IT professionals training in non-IT areas (soft skills)

- CIO Magazine

The most important soft skills for IT were:

          37% Interpersonal (relationship) Skills

          20% Written and/or Verbal Skills

          17% Ability to work under pressure

          11% Overall business acumen15%

          15% Other / don’t know

Article “The Hard Truth: Soft Skills Matter” CIO Magazine

“Many scientific studies show that approximately 45% of time we spend in communication with others

is spent listening. Even though listening is critical to our everyday lives, during our formative and

educational years we learn little about listening well. Forty percent of the time in these learning years

is spent learning how to read. Thirty-five percent is spent learning how to write. Twenty-five percent is



    Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 23 of 28
spent learning how to talk and zero to one percent is spent on learning how to listen or communicate”

- Article “How to listen well”.

“It is true that there are no independent industry research figures available on the growth in demand

for soft skills, but companies on an average, estimate around 30-40 percent growth.”

- Article “Soft skills training: Outsourced vs. in-house” from IT People Evolve 2003.



"Soft skills are… in demand...Less-tangible skills desired by nearly all employers include

management and communications abilities, knowing how to work as part of a team and a keen sense

of business ethics. Many of the key soft skills for professionals were elucidated in a seminal report

known as SCANS, commissioned by the US Department of Labor in 1990 and still relevant today.”

- Clare Reardon, Manpower Inc.



“National data indicate that this lack of "soft skills" is a very serious and pervasive problem

- ” The Abell Foundation



“Hundreds of Fortune 1,000 companies have now embraced all sorts of soft skills, often at

considerable expense…”

- The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)



“With more than 650,000 e-learning courses on the market, and the introduction of thousands of new

courses per year, the e-learning industry is expected to continue to grow in size and in diversity of

products offered. Information technology, business management skills and soft skills are predicted to

dominate among new product offerings... 36 percent of survey participants take e-learning courses on

soft skills.”

- ASTD Certification Institute.

 Business Email Fundamentals                                                  Page 24 of 28
“During the past several years, there has been increased emphasis on the development of soft skill

competence…”

- Article “Building a Case for Soft Skills During Hard Times” by Richard Ruhman - Business Leader

Magazine



“…most employers use soft skills to differentiate one candidate from another. As a result, job seekers

can gain a competitive advantage over other candidates by gaining a firm understanding of their own

soft skills and then clearly illustrating those skills to potential employers.”

- Article “Soft Skills” by Ian Morrison



“If two candidates interviewing for an IT position had similar skills, which one of the following

qualifications would you find most valuable?”

Industry-specific experience…………………………………43%

Soft Skills……………………………………………………….32%

“Interestingly, there was near unanimous agreement that soft skills were as highly valued as the

technical skills. 61% of pharmaceutical companies and CRO's specifically identified communication

and interpersonal relationship building as some of the most in-demand soft skills that need to be

identified in the recruiting process”

From Robert Half Technology National poll of 1400 CIO’s in companies of 100 or more:



Job-search suggestions for graduates.




 Business Email Fundamentals                                                      Page 25 of 28
“Highlight soft skills. More and more companies today seek professionals with a combination of top-

notch accounting knowledge and strong interpersonal abilities. Emphasize your communication skills

and any training received in your resume and cover letter.”

- Survey by Accountemps

“…a management studies professor at McGill University in Montreal, argues that MBA programs

mistakenly focus on "management by analysis…theory but don't address the "soft skills" that help

managers get out of their offices and learn to listen as well as talk...”

- Book “Managers Not MBAs” by Henry Mintzberg

The Results

1) Does the California business community have SOFT SKILLS problems with their employees and

   or candidates?

   YES, as reflected by the 24 letters, various articles, reports, and independent studies,

    soft skills have become a major deficit in today’s business.

2) Which Soft Skills need to be addressed?

   After reviewing all of the “soft skills” noted above and talking to the business community, it was

   determined that the following four areas are the primary “soft skills” deemed absolutely necessary:

        Listening Skills
        Writing
        Speaking/Presentations
        Workplace Relationships
These Soft Skills are broken down to:
               Listening Skills
                o How Human Communications Can Be Improved
                o Communications Cycle
               Writing
                o Types of Writing
                             Status Reports
                             Specifications
 Business Email Fundamentals                                                Page 26 of 28
                         Trip Reports
                         Project Plans
                         Letters
                         Email
                         IM’ing


           Speaking/Presentations
            o Basics of Public Speaking
            o Define the audience and knowledge level
                      List your key points
                      Define your facts
                      Create Outline
                      Pick your media
                      Handouts


           Workplace Relationships
            o Value Confidentiality
            o Keep an Open Mind
            o Maintain a Positive Focus
            o Keep Office Relationships Professional
            o Recognize and Share Successes
            o Practice Attentive Listening
            o Give Authentic Feedback
            o Practice Timely & Confidential Correction
            o Receive acknowledgement
            o Accept Responsibility




                                         End Soft Skills Study




Business Email Fundamentals                                      Page 27 of 28
                                            Credits




                         This project was funded by a mini-grant provided by the Business/CIS
                                   Education Statewide Advisory Committee (BESAC).
                                It was researched, written, filmed, directed and produced
                              from the studios of Business SoftSkills, Inc., Santa Ana, Ca.
                       For additional information on other business soft skills lessons in
                 Written Communications, Verbal Communications or Job Behavior,
                                    contact www.BusinessSoftSkills.com




Business Email Fundamentals                                               Page 28 of 28

								
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