I believe for most folks working in technology, our most important daily contribution is communication. Being an effective communicator is a critical skill for career success in management, but we tend to look at communication as an innate thing that we should avoid training folks in. I think that belief stems from growing up pickled in the liberal arts, where you are trained to view writing as something deeply personal, even an expression of personal style.
As I started exploring into this idea, I became enraptured by the idea that consultancies teach new hires their writing style, for exampleThe Pyramid Principleat McKinsey, and whether maybe更多的companies should follow suite.
The next step I took was to codify the group emails I send at work, systemizing how I approach writing them. Taking something I already feel confident about and systemizing it wasinitially awkward，质量和速度下降，因为我从熟练的业余对专业的电子邮件作者回归，但整体实验一直在启发。
我认为这种编纂可能特别有价值rapidly growing companies，您有大量的新员工涌入，这些员工不熟悉您的通信规范，以及公司规模的丝网也需要不断重新思考沟通机制。
Without further ado, the four kinds of email I write.
When I start writing an email, I try to answer two questions: who is my audience? and what outcome do I hope to accomplish? Based on the answers, I pick one of four formats:
Proposal：如果你想改变某人的想法，那就写一份提案。它应该从简短开始，然后沿着倒金字塔遵循。从专门从事您想要做的事情，请遵循导致这些特定行动的指导原则，然后以周围的背景结束，该背景被送入指导原则以产生行动。我看到的最常见的错误首先从上下文开始，但是假设大多数人在课程中会快速下降sentences, so leaving the conclusion to the end means most folks will stop reading before they know what you want to do.
Context: if you want to periodically convey a bunch of state on a topic to a wide audience, then write a Context email. Structure is to start with a Brief covering the delta from the previous update, and a link to the previous update. Then follow with a metrics review of how metrics have changed since last update. Include a section on project updates, and then finally finish with what you’re doing next. Keep descriptions to a sentence, and link out to background context. The goal is to make this email as dense as possible, and assume many folks will only read the Brief, and most who keep reading will do so to skim the Metrics for surprising trends before moving on. Only a view will read the entire email, but those are the folks who have a dependency on you or who you have a dependency on, so it’s still valuable! The goal of this email is to give enough context as early as possible for folks to get comfortable and stop reading. It should answer enough questions that very few folks finish the email without getting comfortable.
tl;drsection at the topic which should follow the “Brief” format. If you don’t add the brief, most folks won’t read the email at all. If you do add the Brief at top, most folks will read that then bail. Only a few folks will typically read these, but those who do will learn a lot, and you’ll probably change their minds about something, which is a rare, valuable thing! These are also create artifacts to reference in onboarding, link to from future Brief emails, and for remembering what you did last year.
Generally speaking, I believe long emails don’t get read, and try to use a Brief whenever possible. Usually when I’m tempted to write a Proposal or a Context, then I’ll write a separate document and write a Brief that links to that document. The exception is when I’m hoping to spur a conversation with a group of folks over email, when I’m hoping folks might read the email when they have a few minutes with access to their email but not documents (probably on their commute), or attempting to follow existing social norms.
我不认为我甚至两年前会相信这一点，但这一点在我编写了绝大多数我的电子邮件，至少有一个其他人编辑并提供输入。Typically that person is someone is either one of my peers or one of the folks I manage, and the goal is to ensure it’s clearly written and has been thought about from a variety of perspectives (for example, employees not working from the San Francisco office).
This has been the most important change in how I write emails, and has significantly increased their quality.
Should you also develop a bit of an algorithm for writing emails? Yes! I think you should. Don’t keep doing it the way you’ve been doing it since your first job / college / wherever you first learned about email norms. It’s powerful to keep experimenting with the basics.