Field Notes: Email Brevity
Field Notes is a snapshot of small moments, lessons and observations from Yu Mei founder Jessie. Here, she highlights one of the earliest, most crucial skills she learnt on the job - email brevity.
One of the very first lessons I learnt in business was the power of brevity. I learnt this the hard and embarrassing way, (and multiple times since), with a fittingly brief email response that simply read: “Less words.” Easier said than done, a perfect pitch should consist of 300 words (preferably less), getting to the key points of why, what, when, where and how without hesitation.
The delicate dance between conciseness and clarity is an art in itself. Time is of the essence but email miscommunication is a modern-day hazard. Enter: Radical Candor, a concept by Kim Scott that I was introduced to through a group of NZ wonder women that influence, lead and communicate fearlessly. Radical Candor is all about saying what you mean in the most pithy way possible.
Women, generally speaking, don’t do it enough. We often feel the need to overcomplicate and overcompensate, the result of an entrenched desire to be liked and amenable. Exclamation marks are a whole other field note!
So I encourage you all to write sans embellishment and get to the point. It’s more persuasive, I promise.