Master Facilitator Journal

Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0493, June 21, 2011

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Dear Friends,








The character of groups and what they do together is reflected in every avenue of human endeavor especially in our technology. Given that technology is such a big part of our lives today, I wanted to focus this article on facilitation in online communication, with email is particular. In this weeks article, Facilitating Technology Dynamics: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Email Facilitation, we share 7 tips to help you better facilitate one technology that seems to have a stranglehold on our time.

My friend and colleague, Neerja Bhatia is working with Messagemind, a NYC based company that serves global enterprises to increase productivity, accelerate innovation and enhance customer service. We are collaborating to teach consultants, trainers, and corporate staff and decision-makers about the new Messagemind
software tool that offers significant productivity increases to large enterprises. See details about a free webinar we're offering next week to introduce this product as well as additional tips to facilitate email technology.

If you or your colleagues are interested in submitting an article for consideration, please email your ideas. I'd love to hear from you. We hope our work continues to bring inspiration to your world. Thank you for being a part of our growing community and please continue to send your wonderful feedback.

Blessings,

Steve Davis

Founder, FacilitatorU.com



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email overload
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The Point


Facilitating Technology Dynamics
7 Habits of Highly Effective Email Facilitation


Group Process Skill

The character of groups and what they do together is reflected in every avenue of human endeavor especially in our technology. Given that technology is such a big part of our lives today, I wanted to focus this article on facilitation in online communication, with email is particular. While there’s no question that email is a great tool, in some ways, many of us have become its servant. Too often, we get sidetracked from our high leverage tasks sorting through and responding to countless messages. Here’s a good example of email slavery.

While at a customer site I came across an individual who was receiving in excess of 3,000 emails per day. A good chunk of his emails were alerts and newsletters, some were from subordinates looking for answers or providing information, and some were invitations to meetings and social events. Four hours of his commute time was being used to sort, sift and reply to a barrage of email. As a power user he stayed on top of his game by creating folders and assigning numerous rules. Nevertheless, he still had to take the time to visit the numerous subfolders to ensure all important email was being managed effectively.

By taking advantage of Dynamic Prioritization an Outlook Add-In tool that automatically prioritizes and organizes the In-Box, reduced time spent sorting, managing and sifting through email by 2 hours per day within a matter of a week. The tool automatically prioritizes and organizes email based on what is important and urgent to the user.

 

Application


An enterprise solution like C-mail is a great way to save time, money and facilitate faster decision cycle. However, some of us are working on our own and simply need to refine our habits and use the tools already at our disposal. Here are 7 of them.

1. First thing to do is to find an automated way to de-clutter your inbox so you are not having to constantly decide, maintain and strategize the process of cleaning your mailbox. Outlook offers tools to manage your In-Box effectively, following are links to Outlook 2010 and 2007:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/manage-e-mail-messages-with-rules-HA010355682.aspx

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/CH010103271.aspx

2. Allocate uninterrupted time twice to thrice a day to review high priority email. If you fail to willingly create time for high priority email, the growing number of lower priority emails will grab your attention and distract you.

3. When in doubt, refer to the 4Ds when managing email. Delete emails of no use, Delegate for more information, Flag actionable emails as To-Do, or Defer them to a specific date and time so your mind is clear of excess information. Following is a great link that captures the 4Ds http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/outlook-2007-best-practices-tame-your-inbox-with-the-4-ds-HA010377519.aspx?CTT=1

4. Allocate Friday afternoons or slow business hours to go through your low priority email.

5. Take a moment to reread your email before you press send. Is the subject line descriptive and relevant? Is your email clear and concise? Is there anything said that could be easily misunderstood that you can clarify before sending? Do the people you’re cc’ing really need to see it?

6. Plan to switch off or walk away from e-mail for 30 minutes to an hour a day and notice how much you can get done in that uninterrupted time.

7. With a good system in place, you are now ready to go on an email detoxification so you can find the time to connect, plan, create, innovate and do the things that make you happy and are closely related to your innate talents.

One preferred alternative for Enterprise customers seeking to get a handle on email is a piece of software called Messagemind. Messagemind's intelligent software works in the background and automatically prioritizes e-mail within MS Outlook® and mobile devices, facilitates workflow and best practices, maps knowledge networks and provides e-mail productivity analytics and reports at the individual, group and enterprise levels.

To learn additional strategies and tools and more about Messagemind, join us for a free webinar on Thursday, June 30th at 11am Eastern/NY Time. See details below.

Add Your Comments


Action


Pick at least one strategy above and use it everyday this week. Click on Add Your Comments to share your questions, feedback, or experience on this topic.


This Week's Offer


email overloadEmail Overload:
Recovery & Beyond



Beating email overload requires a radical new approach.

One solution years ago was to declare ‘e-mail bankruptcy’. The term “e-mail bankruptcy” was popularized by Lawrence Lessig when he decided his inbox was unmanageable, deleted everything and started over. That was 2004!

E-mail bankruptcy or other actions are not an exit strategy. Most people do not have the luxury of deleting all their mail. And even if they did, it is only a matter of a short time before the inbox becomes unmanageable again. Email volumes are skyrocketing. Current techniques for managing e-mail are merely palliatives for the root problem. Until now, there has been no time effective exit strategy to email bankruptcy.

E-mail use is expanding. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to circumvent email. Email is the most heavily used mode of business communication. Corporate email users on average receive 126 emails per day (excluding spam) and spend more than 41% of their time managing email (Radicati Group).

Email overload is the #1 threat to job performance. One minute of interruption is said to cost 15 minutes of productivity. This threat to job performance and delayed decision making is compounded by the time wasted on the more than half of email received that is not important.

Take your time back! Join us for a free one-hour webinar:

Email Overload: Recovery and Beyond
Thursday, June 30th at 11am Eastern/NY Time

In this webinar you’ll learn…

• New strategies and email tools to save time and money
• To make best use of time to improve job performance & decision making
• About Messagemind C-MAIL, a powerful email management tool for enterprise

Click here to register for this free webinar

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