This post is part of our Weekly-ish Tips series.
I’m opting for short and sweet this week for two reasons: (1) this tip neither needs a lot of preamble nor interpretation (2) I honestly find myself really low on steam right now. (That second part is curious since I haven’t sprinted through an airport or “done much” since late February. But I digress.) Today I feature the brilliance of a colleague who has found a creative, informative, and humorous way to manage her own clients’ and colleagues’ expectations during a most unusual time.
The brilliance belongs to Kristin Abele, who runs all things diagnostics-related for Trusted Advisor Associates. Since March 20th, Kristin has had the following email auto reply running 24×7:
See how she’s cleverly managed a trust quad there? The message itself boosts her reliability. Her honesty builds credibility. Her vulnerability and humor increase intimacy. And her dedication, accessibility, and well-wishes show low self-orientation. It’s a great template for any of us, completely customizable to suit our own circumstances.
For years, I’ve extolled the virtues of an out-of-office reply when it comes to personalizing your interactions with others, and being in touch even when you’re out of touch.
Thanks to Kristin—and a global crisis—I’m now singing the praises of an OOM for a “normal” day in the office.
Make It Real
This week, consider how you might bring a little more candor and creativity to your expectation-setting efforts, email and otherwise.
Check out this “best of” collection of Coronavirus parenting memes. I bet it will make you laugh, whether you’re a parent or not.
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