Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Tone Tips, Part 14: Keeping the Door Open

For this final installment on tone tips, I will not recount the numerous suggestions that I made in this series, but I do encourage you to review them. My thanks to the many people who have liked these tips on Linked In, Twitter, and Facebook. Heeding the advice in these posts will keep the door open to your readers. I close this series with three new recommendations that will cultivate and cement enduring relationships.

1. Check in. Staying in touch isn't always easy when you're bombarded with countless e-messages, yet it is a sure way to stay connected. Here are possible openings to emails that your readers might find endearing if they are well-timed: "Glad to hear from Charlie that your project is progressing smoothly" ... "I just returned from New Orleans and was thinking about your great advice to make the business trip a hit" ... "It's been a while since we last communicated, so I want you to know that we are continuing to look for ways to bridge the gap between our services and your needs." 

2. Acknowledge. Never let an opportunity pass to congratulate or simply thank someone. Examples: "I'm excited but not surprised about your recent, well-deserved, and long overdue promotion" ... "Without a doubt, your support on this project made it a success for countless reasons" ... "I greatly appreciate not only your diligence on all your assignments but the respect that you have shown all your collaborators." 

3. ReferYou can forward a useful article: "I thought you would be interested in this piece about succession planning, which I know has been at the top of your agenda." You can connect two people: "Anita and Zhou, I am sure that with your mutual aims in bioinformatics, you will benefit from knowing each other." Or you can write a commendation for a promotion, award, or program acceptance: "Brenda Gross is worthy of recognition as Employee of the Year for her creative, efficient, and ethical approach to all she does."

Checking in, acknowledging, and referring will go a long way toward gaining forgiveness if you unintentionally breach some of the best practices posted in this series. More importantly, it will keep the door open to the people who matter most to you.