Don't cry wolf!
What do I mean when I say, "Don't cry wolf?"
If you don't know the story about the boy who cried wolf, let me tell you it :)
There was a young shepherd boy who grew up in a small village. He would take his sheep to graze every day... One day, this got quite boring for the young boy and so he wanted to have some fun. He came up with a naughty idea to play a prank on the villagers... So what did he do?
He yelled, "WOLF!!!"
All the villagers ran up to help!!
But when they got there, they found the boy giggling, no wolf, and they left angry at the boy for wasting their time.
The next day, the boy did the same:
They ran up, found the boy had pranked them again, and left disappointed at themselves for believing him a second time...
The next day, the boy was in the fields as always... He had the sheep grazing... and suddenly, what does he see?
Along came a real wolf!
Terrified, the boy yelled, "WOLF!!!!!"
No villagers came.
No one believed him.
They didn't trust him any longer.
No matter how much he screamed and shouted, all he could do was watch his sheep get killed by the wolf, and no one came to help.
What is the moral of the story, and why do I say, "Don't cry wolf!"
The answer will surprise you, and the topic is not what you might expect...
When it comes to emails, I have seen people send me an email with a big red exclamation point...
In case you don't know, in the email world this means URGENT! You click a button before sending it that adds the red exclamation and marks it as urgent.
I open the email in a rush, and what do I see? It's definitely not urgent, it's just a general communication.
I have seen this time, and time, and time again.
When you cry wolf in emails is when you mark the email as urgent when it's not actually urgent... Might not seem like a big deal, so...
What's the problem with that?
When you're working you want to be efficient.
You don't want distractions.
You want you and your team to be streamlined.
And interruptions should only be because they are needed!
When you mark an email as urgent, you are saying you need the person to give you their attention quickly, you want to say,”Hey, this is urgent!” so they stop what they are doing and get to you as quickly as possible.
But if you mark every email that you send as urgent, it loses its value!!
I can't believe or trust that it's really urgent.
So many people just have the habit of sending an email as urgent even when it's not!
In an organization, you need to explain to your staff, suppliers, all people you work with that emails should only be marked as urgent if they are urgent! Explain that if it's marked urgent you will give it urgent attention, but they need to ensure they don't cry wolf!
My recommendation for you, and just a little tip, it's something small, it's a nuance of business etiquette, it's a tiny change with your emails....
Only mark urgent when actually urgent!
Don't cry wolf, because then one day when it's urgent, somebody won't give it the attention it needs!
Educate those that you work with - don't cry wolf - don't mark it as urgent unless it is urgent.
Thank you, and please enjoy the video below :)
To Your Prosperity,