Use the blind carbon copy (BCC) function whenever you send group e-mails, unless you are expecting people to “Reply All.” This cuts down on unnecessary e-mails when you're trying to arrange times for meetings or sending details about an event. Plus, it's inconsiderate to send someone's e-mail address to an entire group. Although they shouldn't, anyone who has a blast e-mail distribution list could copy those addresses for their own use.

Telephone Communication

Technology has eliminated a lot of telephone communication. Often you'll find yourself leaving a voice mail rather than connecting with a live person.

From a time-management perspective, it takes longer to listen to voice messages and return calls than it does to answer a phone call on the first ring. Set a standard to return voice messages within a set time frame. Responding within 24 hours or by the end of the business day are good rules to adopt. Doing this shows respect for others.

When you leave a voice message, be sure to state your name and telephone number slowly and clearly. Leave your name and number once at the outset of the message and again at the close of the message. That way, the listener has a second chance to write your number and he or she can hear it twice without listening to the entire message again.

Tell the person why you're calling so he or she can prepare for the return call, understands the urgency of the situation, and can estimate the approximate time required for the return call.

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