用户名: 密码: 验证码:    注册 | 忘记密码?
首页|听力资源|每日听力|网络电台|在线词典|听力论坛|下载频道|部落家园|在线背单词|双语阅读|在线听写|普特网校
您的位置:主页 > 英语能力 > 翻译 > 笔译 > 练习材料 > 职场 >

双语:给老板写邮件的七大必杀技

2014-12-15    来源:财富网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

作者: Herman Vantrappen

战略咨询公司Akordeon的总经理赫尔曼•万特拉彭认为,在写电子邮件的时候,要把自己想象成设计师,去体察读者的需要,揣测他们的想法。

双语:

If you really want to get your message across, make sure you understand the mindset of the person you’re emailing.
如果你希望电子邮件能有效地传递信息,那么就一定要去揣摩读者的心态。

Amazon AMZN 1.60% lists close to 6,000 book titles on “business writing.” You might wonder why you need to read anything else on the subject. Well, once you start practicing what you’ve learnt from many of these books, you might find that an email of yours still fails to achieve its ultimate purpose: to evoke the response you want. A good email persuades its reader to take a specific action, such as: approve an investment proposal, provide information, agree to provide a testimonial, or accept an invitation. So, if your text doesn’t get your reader to act as you intended, you have wasted both your and her time.
亚马逊(Amazon)上关于“商务写作”方面的书将近有6,000种,再让你读这方面的相关内容,你或许会觉得难以理解。不过,一旦你把从书中学到的付诸实际,你就会发现你的邮件仍然无法实现那个最终的目标——让读者作出你想要的回应。一封出色的电子邮件能够说服读者采取特定的行动,比如:批准一份投资方案、提供信息、同意提供一份证明或者接受邀请等。因此,如果你的邮件无法让读者按照你的希望采取行动,你就浪费了别人和自己的时间。

Below you’ll find seven tips to help you be a better email writer, which I have drawn from my 25 years’ experience as a strategy consultant. What these seven tips have in common is that they focus on the psychology of the reader. Why is that important? As soon as a reader receives a text, he mentally pigeonholes it into one of several, possibly damning categories: “ignore and ditch,” “read later,” “read now, but no action.” Obviously you want your reader to pigeonhole your text in the “read and act now” slot.
以下是能帮你写好邮件的七个建议,这些都是从我担任战略顾问的25年经验中总结而来。这七大诀窍有一个共同点,那就是都非常注重揣摩阅读者的心理。为什么这一点非常重要?在对方收到你发出的邮件后,他就会马上在心里将你的邮件进行分拣归类,很有可能就归入了那些糟糕的类目下,比如:“忽略并归类为垃圾邮件”、“以后再读”、“现在读,但不采取行动”等等。而显然,你所期望的是对方将你的邮件归类为“现在看并马上采取行动”。

To get your reader to respond positively, it helps to understand a little about social psychology and behavioral economics. Specifically, two great books serve as a good intellectual foundation to these fields. The first is Robert Cialdini’sInfluence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which addresses the psychology of compliance, i.e. the factors that cause one person to say yes to another person. The second is Richard Thaler’s and Cass Sunstein’sNudge, which examines systems that help people improve their ability to select options that will make them better off. While these books don’t deal with business writing per se, they contain relevant and applicable insights. They lead to tips that you will find complementary to the often technical tips about business writing that you find elsewhere, such as “avoid the passive voice,” “avoid jargon and acronyms,” and “vary the length and structure of your sentences.”
如果想要你的阅读者做出积极的回应,懂一点社会心理学和行为经济学会对你有所帮助。具体来说,关于这两个领域的一些基础知识,有两本书非常值得一读。第一本是罗伯特•希尔蒂尼(Robert Cialdini)的《影响力:说服的心理学》(Influence:The Psychology of Persuasion),这本书对顺从行为进行了心理学分析,即什么因素能让一个人答应他人的要求;另外一本是由理查德•塞勒(Richard Thaler)和卡斯•孙斯坦因(Cass Sunstein)合著的《推动力》(Nudge),这本书对各种系统进行了分析,帮助人们提高作出对自身更为有利选择的能力。虽然这两本书本身不涉及商务写作,但是包含了一些非常实用的相关理论。在这些理论的基础上,我总结出了以下的建议,它们与你在别的地方学到的那些常见的商务写作技巧,比如“避免使用被动语态”、“避免使用行业术语和缩略语”、“变换语句的长度和结构”等,将互为补充。

Let’s move on to the tips.
下面就说说这七个建议。

Tip 1. Take into account where and when your boss reads your text. In today’s fast-paced world of instant, omnipresent and byte-size hypercommunication, it is easy and tempting to fire off a text to your targeted reader as soon as you have finished writing it. But think about when and where he will receive your text. For example, it may not be a great idea to mail a request for a two-months leave of absence to your boss on a Friday evening when he is waiting at an overcrowded airport for a delayed return flight home after three days of intense and unsuccessful negotiations with union delegates. Your request may be perfectly reasonable and eloquently worked out, but you’d better wait for a more auspicious time and place for it to land in your boss’s inbox.
技巧1:要考虑到你的上司会在何时何地阅读你的邮件。在当今这个快节奏的时代,以字节信息为载体的高速通讯可以随时随地实现。因此,写完了一封电子邮件之后,你也许会忍不住马上发给对方,而这也很容易实现。但是,请考虑一下对方会在何时何地收到你的邮件。举个例子,如果你想要给老板发封邮件,申请请两个月的假,那么周五晚上就不会是一个很好的时间点。这个时候,你的上司正被困在拥挤的机场,等着晚点的飞机带他回家;在此之前,他刚刚与工会代表进行了长达三天的紧张谈判,结果不欢而散。你的请假申请也许理由万般充分,措辞流畅有力,但是你不妨多等一会,让你的电子邮件在一个更好的时间和地点进入上司的收件箱。

Tip 2. Stand out in a crowded inbox by using clues.Busy as businesspeople are, they cannot afford to think too long about every decision they have to make. They often make fairly automatic decisions based on past experience or just one written clue that is presented to them. It starts with simple things like the subject header of your mail: it should convey opportunity and benefit to the reader rather than effort and goodwill from him. For example, when you write an email to solicit participation in a benchmarking exercise, the heading “Study” may evoke more dreadful associations than “How to improve performance.” More profoundly, make yourself likeable to your reader, for example, by referring to shared interests or flattering him. Of course you’re walking a fine line: you don’t want to mislead, deceive or manipulate your readers; you simply want to convince, persuade and facilitate.
技巧2:利用主题线索让邮件在收件箱中更为显眼。商务人士都非常忙,因此他们无法为作出一项决定花费太多时间。所以,他们往往是根据过去的经验,或者仅仅根据呈现给他们的一条书面线索就下意识地作出决定。首先是给电子邮件拟定标题,这不难做到。标题要让阅读邮件的人感到这是机会,并且会有好处,而不是要他们费力做什么事情,或者谋求他们给予恩惠。例如,你要写一封邀请别人参加基准管理培训的电子邮件,如果标题含有类似“学习”这样的字眼,就会让人产生“如何提高绩效”之类让人不安的联想。更高深的技巧是,要拉近邮件阅读者和你的心理距离,例如,提及共同利益或夸赞对方。当然,这种做法稍不留神就会走偏:你不想去误导、欺骗或操纵读者;只是想劝导、说服、促使他们作出决定。

Tip 3. Personalize your message.There are occasions when you have to send essentially the same text to several readers, such as when you need data from several colleagues to build a business case. You can either broadcast a standard request or send personalized requests separately. While the broadcast initially may appear more efficient to you, you risk running into the so-called bystander effect. First, each person reasons that others will respond, and therefore will do nothing. Second, each person waits for a response from the others to find out whether the request is really that serious or important. You will probably get a higher response rate if you take some time to personalize your messages. Of course, be a bit more sophisticated and less lazy than simply replacing “Dear Team” by “Dear Suzy”.
技巧3:对消息进行个人化处理。有时候,你会需要将相同的文本发送给多名读者。比如在需要从多位同事那里获取数据来建立商业案例时。你可以群发同一条请求,或者针对不同读者分别发送请求。虽然群发乍看之下效率较高,但是也让你面对着遭遇“旁观者效应”的风险。首先,每个人都会认为其他人会做出响应,因此什么也不做。其次,每个人都等待其他人做出反应,以判断请求是否真的那么严肃或重要。如果花一些时间对消息进行个人化处理,你可能会获得更高的回复率。当然,这并非只是潦草地将抬头从“大家好”换成“苏珊你好”,而是要在细节上下些功夫。

Tip 4. Beware of the mystery readers in your audience.Every guide on business writing worth its salt will tell you that you have to take into account the various reader segments that your text is addressing. For example, if you’re writing an assessment of an acquisition target, you know that both your CEO, your company’s Board and their investment banker, each with different needs, may read it. Much more tricky to deal with are the mystery readers — that is those you don’t know about. For example, one of your targeted readers may (inadvertently) forward your text to a person who in your mind should be the last to read it. Remember the cyberversion of Murphy’s infamous law that “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Another example is the personal assistant who stands as a sentinel between you and your targeted executive, scanning and filtering all incoming mail, in which case you might write a cover email designed to make her act first. And don’t forget that a document can have a long shelf life and be read a few years later by people who have no clue about its original context, and thus may misinterpret it. So think through the mystery readers and how you could cope with them.
技巧4:注意受众中的神秘读者。任何一本优秀的商业写作指南都会告诉你,必须考虑到接收你消息的各种不同的读者群体。例如,如果你正在写一份并购目标评估报告,公司的首席执行官、董事会以及投资银行家都可能阅读这份报告,你知道他们的需求各不相同。更难应对的是神秘读者——那些你一无所知的读者。比如,你的某个目标读者可能(不经意地)将消息转发给你认为不应该读取该消息的某个人。请记住网络版的墨菲定律:“有可能出错的事情总会出错。”另外一个例子就是在你和目标管理者之间充当哨兵的个人助理,这些人会浏览和过滤所有来信。遇到这种情况时,你可以先写一封邮件作掩护,专门让助理去处理。不要忘了,一份文件可能会储存很长时间,有可能在几年后才会被不知原委的人阅读,因而可能出现误解。所以要充分考虑神秘读者的存在,以及如何进行应对。

Tip 5. Kill the mosquitos. Of course most of your readers are no fools.They know that content is more important than form, and that an attractive form (clear building blocks, an appealing lay-out, page numbering, etc.) is no guarantee of the quality of the content. Nevertheless they often reason unconsciously that, if the author didn’t even bother about formal quality, in all likelihood he didn’t bother about the quality of the content either. Form quality also neutralizes the so-called mosquitos. We are all familiar with them: the people who attend a presentation and immediately turn to the pages with a pie chart to check that the percentages add up to exactly one hundred. While these nitpickers are neither lethal nor value-adding, don’t make it easy for them to criticize your email presentation and distract your audience from your real message.
技巧5:堵上挑刺者的嘴。当然,绝大多数读者都不傻。他们知道内容重于格式,漂亮的格式(干净的构成模块、漂亮的布局、页码等)并不能保证内容的质量。但是,他们也会经常下意识地推断,如果作者连格式都不关心,那么很可能也不会重视内容的质量。注重格式质量还可以让所谓的“挑刺者”闭嘴。我们对这类人都很熟悉:在参加演示会时,他们会立即翻到有饼形图的那一页,检查所有百分比加起来是否刚好100%。虽然这些吹毛求疵的人既不会致命,也不会增加价值,但是不要让他们能轻易抓住你邮件报告的把柄,把读者的注意力从真正的信息上引开。

Tip 6. Make it easy to respond to your text.If the proof of the pudding is in the eating, then the proof of your writing is in your reader’s response. But remember that not responding is often a more convenient alternative. While it is hard to force a response, at least you can prod. To start with, make it clear, almost from the very first sentence, why you are writing to the reader and what you expect from her – business texts should not be mystery novels. And when you come to the end, make it easy for the reader to respond by providing her with a default option. For example, you might include in your email: “Unless I hear from you by Monday, I will assume that you agree with my recommendation.” (This might be difficult if your reader is your boss.) Defaults are powerful because people often are not willing to spend much effort coming up with other options. The choice for the default option is especially hard to resist if you suggest that yours is the normal or even recommended choice. If there is no easy default option, you can explicitly tell your readers that you expect a response, and you can ask them to let you know what they intend to do, by when, and how. The mere fact of asking people what they intend to do acts as a nudge.
技巧6:让回应你的邮件变得简单。评价一块布丁的好坏要靠品尝,而检验写作的质量则是要根据读者的反应。切记,不回复往往是一种更方便的选择。虽然你很难迫使读者作出回应,但是至少你可以刺激一下他们。为此,从开头的第一句话就要表明来意,说明你为什么写这份邮件,以及你希望对方作出什么样的回应—— 商务信函不应该像是推理小说。到结尾时,要为读者提供默认选项,方便对方做出回应。例如,你可以在邮件中写:“如果您在周一之前没有回信,我就会当做您同意了我的建议。”(当然,如果邮件的接收者是你的顶头上司,这一点就很难做到。)默认选项的威力巨大,因为人们往往不愿意花太多精力去做别的选择。人们往往很难对默认选项说不,特别是当你指出,你提供的选项是正常的,或者甚至是被他人所推荐的。如果默认选项不太好想到,你可以明确向读者表示你期待回复,并请他们告知他们的打算,以及相关的时间和方式。仅仅是询问人们的计划就可以起到推动作用。

Tip 7. Work and work again on your text.There is no escape. Writing a high-quality text takes effort and consequently time. Consider Thomas Edison’s most endearing maxims: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” The opportunity relates to the return you might get from spending a bit more time on raising the quality of your text. Chances are your audience will then notice, read, understand, and act upon your message after only hitting the send button once.
技巧7:反复修改。没有偷懒的办法。写出一封非常出色的邮件需要时间和精力。想想托马斯•爱迪生那句最被人喜爱的格言:“大多数人错过了机会,因为机会穿着工作服,而且看起来像工作。”只有付出时间提高邮件的质量,才有可能获得回报,赢得机遇。只需要按下发送按键,你的读者就有可能注意、查看、理解你传递的信息,并采取行动。

In summary, a writer should behave like a designer. A good business writer is neither an artist nor an engineer. He is a designer who envisions what people need or are thinking and then crafts an appropriate email. Follow that approach and, chances are, you’ll get the response you want.
总而言之,邮件作者应当像设计师那样精心设计自己的邮件。好的商务邮件作者既不是艺术家也不是工程师;他是可以预见人们需求或想法的设计师,然后据此精雕细琢出一封恰当的邮件。利用这一方法,你可能就会得到自己想要的回应。(财富中文网)

Herman Vantrappen is the Managing Director of Akordeon, a strategic advisory firm based in Brussels, and author of The Executive Action Writer
赫尔曼•万特拉彭是布鲁塞尔战略咨询公司Akordeon的董事总经理,以及《The Executive Action Writer》一书的作者。



顶一下
(2)
100%
踩一下
(0)
0%
手机上普特 m.putclub.com 手机上普特
[责任编辑:elly]
------分隔线----------------------------
发表评论 查看所有评论
请自觉遵守互联网政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
表情:
用户名: 密码: 验证码:
  • 推荐文章
  • 资料下载
  • 讲座录音
普特英语手机网站
用手机浏览器输入m.putclub.com进入普特手机网站学习
查看更多手机学习APP>>