Last week in a Writing Tune-Up for Peak Performance class, a recent college graduate questioned the wisdom of one of my best practices for email. The best practice he questioned is this:
Get a second opinion before you send an email that is very important or intended for a large audience.
He said something like this: "If I have done all these other best practices, I don’t see any reason to get a second opinion." And when I pressed him, "But if the message is VERY important?" he persisted in the view that another set of eyes wasn’t necessary.
By contrast, I–with 25+ years of business writing experience–always get a second opinion when a message is important or will have lots of readers.
Do I lack confidence? No. I simply know that another set of eyes, another brain, may catch something I missed or did not consider.
Here is an example of what someone missed recently when he sent out an application for a job: "I’m a died in the wool Mac user."
Died in the wool? The employer he was approaching, Dan Balan of Intraqq, wrote back, "We don’t hire ghosts."
Another set of eyes might have caught the error. Too bad it didn’t.
For more email best practices, get my 110 Tips for Sending Email That Gets Read and Gets Results.