Other Tips

Here, I include three other communication tips for you.

Other Tip #1 - Adjust the frequency of communication-based on how many people your supervisor oversees

Often time, how often you communicate with your manager depends on whether your manager is a manager of managers or a manager of individual contributors. One way is to ask yourself how many people your supervisor oversees (either directly or indirectly). If the supervisor manages a lot of people, you don't want to spam the supervisor so much. If the supervisor manages just a few people, you could probably communicate with your supervisor multiple times a day. If your supervisor manages a lot of people (hundreds of people), you probably don't want to send them an update more than once a day. For some, they may only want to be updated once a week or even once a month. More people your supervisor manages, most likely, they will want to get updated less frequently and just trust that you'll do a good job given a task/project. The best way to find out is by asking your supervisor directly. For example, you could say "I want to make sure you're fully in the loop but also don't want to spam your email inbox. Ideally, would it be too much if I sent multiple updates a day? A few updates a week? A few updates a month? Which would be ideal?"

Other Tip #2 - Do not just "Reply All" on emails

Sometimes, I see employees address the entire group in the email thread of in the slack channel, without being specific on who that content is for. This is generally a bad practice especially if you were asking someone to do something or you were providing an email update to someone.

For example, imagine that the company CEO sent out an email and gave a series of instructions to multiple departments. Say you were one of the department heads and you responded back to that email with 'Reply All' and included a message like this:

From: You (your email address)
To: _____, _____, _____, ___{{your supervisor's email}}___, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,____, ____, ____, ____, ____,

Everyone in my team - Please make you follow #4, #5, and #6. 

What went wrong with this scenario?

1. Don't reply to all people that don't need to be aware of your communication. Only include those that really need to be aware of that conversation.

It's easy to spot these types of people who always just reply to all the email threads where they basically spam everyone in the company. This is an easy sign to identify someone who's not conscious of other people's time and who lacks training yet on communication. Be conscious of other people's time and don't "reply all". Send that message only to those that need to be involved in that conversation.

2. When you address everyone, you're addressing no one.

When you send a message to everyone in the group, without being clearly exactly which individual you're referring to, you are addressing no one. Supervisors, especially those who are higher up in the organization, constantly get spammed by people who don't follow the guidance above. Because they get so much of this spam, unless the email or the message specifically mentions their name, it gets ignored.

Even when something is messaged to the direct reports, if the supervisor addresses the whole group, it's not as effective as giving specific instruction to specific individuals. For example, a better way to message that email above is to do something like this:

From: You (your email address)
To: _____, _____, _____,
CC: {{your supervisor's email only depending on how often you've already spammed your supervisor's email already}}

{{employee A name }} - please make sure you follow #4.
{{employee B name }} - please make sure you follow #5.
{{employee C name }} - please make sure you follow #6

Note how you still could have included your supervisor's in this conversation but I would have done this only if I am not spamming the supervisor's inbox already. For example, if your supervisor is a manager of managers, your supervisor probably gets hundreds of emails a day, where about 80-90% are needless spams that your supervisor wishes the supervisor never receives. If that's the case, instead of sending 10 updates that day, save the supervisor time but not CCing the supervisor but instead at the end of the day, provide a short update of your activities to your supervisor.

If your supervisor is not a manager of managers but manages a small team of individual contributors, it may be okay to still spam them as they probably get significantly fewer emails.

Tip #3 - Radiate enthusiasm

If someone asked you what is the most important thing to demonstrate when you're going through a job interview, what would you say? Is it to show intelligence, superb communication skills, show history of what you were able to accomplish, show projects, etc? Someone surprisingly said 'enthusiasm'. After reflecting more on this, I must agree that this is indeed very true. People can be forgiving on many attributes especially if the person seems to be eager and enthusiastic about the role or about the new opportunities. Yet, when we face someone who may be smart, but who just don't seem to be enthusiastic about life or work, it's very hard to relate or work with that person. 

When you communicate, attend meetings, do presentations, or even write emails, try to be enthusiastic about what you're doing. For me, when I conduct meetings, I can quickly gauge how attentive the person is by looking at their eyes and see if they have the sparkle in their eyes. If people constantly seem to show a lack of enthusiasm or show little energy when they communicate, that person will most likely not get noticed, get promoted, have influence in the team, etc. 

If you aren't just enthusiastic about your work, you should do some meditation or self-reflection to find out if this is really the place you want to be. Sometimes, you'll find the energy to change your perspectives. Sometimes, you'll find that this is not really the place your soul desires to be and if that's the case, you should do yourself and a company a favor by leaving as soon as possible.