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 By Javier Sanz-Blasco Let’s flashback to 1999, when I moved from Madrid to London with the help of a paper plane ticket. 5 years later, in 2004, one in every five flights had an e-tickets. By 2008, almost every ticket used by all air carriers worldwide was an e-ticket.  This is just an example. Technology … Continue reading



  •   By Javier Sanz-Blasco As I transitioned from the Communications & Collaborations marketplace into the Cloud SaaS industry, I reached out to many of my former managers and senior colleagues to catch up, look back to the years of working together and get some insights that we all need to be aware of. Today I would like to share two of those insights: Email and Listening. Minimize Email Email has changed the way we do business and communicate. Have you ever received an email that was not clear, or sent an email that you would like to take back? Regrettably, I raise my hand for both cases. Part of the problem is that email is used as a form of communication that serves multiple purposes. We “ping” messages to our friends and family via email adopting a casual tone. Unfortunately, sometimes we adopt a less than professional tone when sending emails to colleagues and, worse, clients. Emails are not just chats when they are between professionals. Therefore, a different email protocol must be used according to the recipient. At work a formal protocol is usually required. High-energy people may want to connect and communicate constantly: but if we look at email from a 'formal protocol' point of view (I am thinking about Netflix 'The Crown'), suddenly it makes sense: we should use email with measure, or Her Majesty may show displeasure... (Feel free to replace H.M. with a client or another senior colleague). My 4 tips to improve writing emails are: 1. Important emails: do not send them. Instead, we save the email as a draft and take another look later. It may save us embarrassment and minimise any chance that the recipient may not understand or, worse, take it in the wrong way. Actually, when I think about it, most of our emails to customers and executives are important, which means that they fall in this bucket. I call it the 'freeze bucket'. 2. Urgent emails: as if they were read from a mobile phone. We should aim to keep our response simple, clear and to the point. Read the email aloud to you before sending and we will get an idea of the tone. I like to imagine the recipient reading my email from a mobile phone, so we ensure our messages are succinct. We should use email with measure, or Her Majesty may show displeasure 3. Email is a permanent record: convenience does not trump discretion, nor manners. We should never complain, never shout, never share anything that we would not like to see in the morning’s newspaper... or on the big screen in a movie. More about movies later. 4. Turn the screen around: put ourselves in the recipient's shoes. How would I feel if I received this email? Does the tone of the email reflect my professional or personal image? Sarcasm must be avoided as email lacks most contextual information. We should never send professional emails when we are feeling highly emotional. Remember that email that took 30 seconds to write but 30 days to apologise for? Once you click the little SEND button, it is almost impossible to get it back! I will always remember what my former CEO told me once: Javier, if  you are writing emails, you are not selling. We must respect people's time and do not clutter their inboxes. And finally, we should always err on the more formal, rather than the more casual aspect. A good learning resource I have found about email protocol is: or a book: 'Send: The How, Why, When - and When Not - of Email', by David Shipley that you can get for $10 from most bookstores. With the above we can achieve better relationships in business and the results we want. Conscious Listening Listening is one of the most important aspects of effective communication. When we listen, we send a very strong message to the other party: this relationship is more about you, than about me. And the better we connect, the stronger is our relationship. My 4 tips to be a better listener are: We slow down. Patience is a virtue and a great, smart, listener will let the other party take the lead. I would even say: the less I talk about me, the better I get to know the other party. We do not interrupt. No matter what, jumping in may come across as rude, but in addition we may miss out on important information that can help in the future. A great idea is to imagine that we are being filmed, like a movie, as point 3 above. What would the audience say? We pay attention to non-verbal clues. Tone of voice, body language, facial expressions... It has been claimed that up to 80% of the communication is not verbal. Last week I found a great video in YouTube about how to make eye-contact during a video-call. Great resource! Then we ask great questions. Great questions must be open, short, and not leading. I call this the Woody Allen phase, almost like his therapist, where we drill down and dig deeper to find out more. And we keep in mind the 80%-20% rule: I say 20%, my counterpart says 80%. Remember: The more we invest in others, the more they invest in us. We may not be actors or actresses, but our emails and our conversations are filmed! I have found good learning resource about improving our listening skills here: or a book. 'Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More Than IQ' by Daniel Goleman that will also set you $10 back.
  • En mi Outlook tengo dos reglas que me resultan muy útiles para que el correo electrónico no me saque demasiado de la concentración pero, al mismo tiempo, que sea un vehículo de comunicación rápida (que es lo que me gusta). Si me mandan un correo electrónico en el que estoy en copia, lo almaceno en una carpeta a la que llamo "EN COPIA", y así ya lo veré más tarde (o no lo veré, pues si estoy en copia no será muy importante, y si lo es ya me escribirán de nuevo).... excepto si el correo electrónico proviene de un número reducido de personas, en cuyo caso lo dejo en la bandeja de entrada porque es importante. Hay determinados correos electrónicos que no hay prisa en ver. Por ejemplo, alguna newsletter a la que estoy suscrito. En ese caso los almaceno en una carpeta que se llama "SIN PRISA". Para crear una regla se siguen estos pasos (pongo como ejemplo la número 1 de las de arriba): Menu "Inicio"--> Botón "Reglas" --> "Crear Regla" --> "Opciones Avanzadas"--> Paso 1 selecciones condiciones"donde mi nombre está en el cuadro CC" --> Paso 1 seleccione una o varias acciones "mover a la carpeta especificada" --> Pinchar en la palabra "especificada" que aparece en azulitoen el recuadro de debajo--> Pinchar el botón "Nueva" --> Crear la carpeta "EN COPIA" y seleccionarla --> de vuelta al menú pinchar en "Siguiente" -->Paso 1 seleccionar una o varias excepciones "excepto si es de personas o grupo público" -->Pinchar en la palabra "personas o grupo público" que aparece en azulito en el recuadro de debajo --> Seleccionar los remitentes a los que no se aplicará la regla. ¿Ideas para otras reglas o tácticas para que el correo electrónico no te saque demasiado de la concentración?  
  • "Your real challenge is to establish a quality-is-in-the-air feeling throughout the organization, to get people to wrestle with defining quality and to get them to launch numerous, creative quality-improvement initiatives. You need enough looseness of definition to up the odds of generating a few exciting initiatives.” " (Tom Peter's Weekly Quote) ("Tu principal reto es establecer un ambiente orientado a la calidad a través de tu organización, con el fin de que las personas peleen por definir la calidad, y llevarlas a lanzar numerosas y creativas iniciativas orientadas a la mejora de la calidad. Asimismo, necesitas que la definición de calidad sea lo suficientemente flexible, con el fin de aumentar las oportunidades de generar un puñado de iniciativas realmente interesantes")
  • ‘Gamers’ instinctively ‘get’ the idea of lots of trials, lots of errors, as fast as possible; for this reason among many, ‘the revolution’ is/will be to a very significant degree led by youth.” (Tom Peter`s weekly quote)
  • "Learning is the ultimate accomplishment of every human being. And virtually everyone is motivated to learn. ... As a result, managers should see their primary task as creating de facto learning labs on the job.” (Tom Peter´s Weekly Quote)
  • "Most of the hierarchy found in the traditional firm must be eliminated, and the walls between functional staffs must be destroyed. You can’t move fast, no matter how good the systems are, if turf fights among functions are the norm, and if even routine decisions must be processed through numerous layers of bureaucracy.” (Tom Peters´weekly quote)
  • "Systems and organization must be state-of-the-art, but on a day-to-day basis, people who are on, or very near, the front line must have the requisite skills and be unequivocally empowered to act". (Tom Peter´s weekly quote)
  • "Vendors and distributors ... must become full-scale participants in the firm’s strategic decision-making, and in day-to-day decisions on execution as well" (Tom Peters' weekly quote)
  • "The truly “hard stuff”—are the relationships with, for instance, our customers and our own people.”  (Tom Peters´ weekly quote)
  • "To deal with the most likely future employment scenarios, leaders will have to be masters of the liberal arts—said arts are ... the determinant of responding to the emerging world.” (Tom Peters´ weekly quote).
  • "To achieve matchless quality, management must be emotionally attached to the product and must pass on their enthusiasm to every employee, distributor, and supplier—as well as customer.” (Tom Peters´ weekly quote).

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