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Tuesday 26 January 2010

The importance of personality in communications - A lesson learned from Freddie

I learned a useful lesson yesterday regarding the importance of putting personality into my professional communications.

Subscribers to this blog will know that yesterday, when sending out an email letting you know about Spreadsheets by Email's January 20% off deal, I managed to call you all "Freddie"! This was the result of a copying and pasting error, entirely of my own doing.

I spotted the error and immediately fired off a new email to all subscribers apologising for my stupidity. What happened next surprised me. This brief apology email solicited many more replies than probably anything I have ever sent out. I started to look at the reasons for this and came to the conclusion - it clearly came from a human being!

Training as a Chartered Accountant, I was brought up to write professional reports and letters (it was the 1990s!). Clearly professionalism has its place but things have changed - with the amount of information flying into everyone's Inbox these days, personality is the only thing that makes any communication stand out. I like to think that there is some personality in my emails to individuals but when sending an email (or a blog post) that is aimed at a group I tend to get a bit dry and professional.

Following my little "Freddie" incident however, I have hopefully learned a valuable lesson. In future I will try to ensure that there is more of "me" in my emails and blog posts. You will let me know when I slip up and revert to being boring and professional, won't you?

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  1. It is not only the personal aspect. The fact that you admit that it was your own error gives you, in my eyes, more credit. In days where everybody points at an other, it is - and again I can only speak for myself - an relief.

  2. I agree with Anonymous. Making a mistake and owning up to it is a human and credible thing to do.

    I too have more respect for someone who makes an honest mistake, owns up and puts it right, than for someone who either never makes any mistakes (because that means they're a machine), or tries to fudge and hide the mistake!

    Signed Mr Flintoff :-)