Persuasive E-Mail: Miserable Meetings

The following e-mail message suffers from many writing faults, including poor tone and poor persuasive strategy. It originated with a manager and is addressed to his boss.

Your Task. List at least seven writing faults. Then revise the message by implementing an effective persuasive strategy. Include ideas and examples from your training in conducting and participating in productive meetings. Consider volunteering to help develop and implement the policy being requested.

To:        Charlotte Cohen <ccohen@mitenterprise>

From:        Clint Johnson <cjohnson@mitenterprise>

Subject:        Miserable Meetings

Cc:

Attached:

Good morning!

I wonder if you know how bad meetings are around here. We seem to have endless meetings that drag on and on forever. I myself attended five meetings within the building but also was forced to participate in three more conference call meetings. And that was just last week! Nearly every one of those meetings was poorly run. Some should never have been called because they merely announced information after a decision had already been made. Some could easily have been handled in an e-mail. Sometimes I think our meetings are really opportunities to socialize under the guise of “work.” Our meetings are huge time suckers.

I’m going to level with you and tell it like it is. Something needs to be done about the lost productivity and sagging employee morale around here. No one likes to waste valuable time attending poorly run or unnecessary meetings. Apparently, our managers have not been trained in how to conduct meetings, although I realize that all of them are professional and have business training.

What we need is a meeting policy or something like that. We need some guidelines or training about how to conduct meetings. Has anyone thought of that? I can think of many ways to improve meetings. Could we please talk about this?

Clint Johnson

Project Manager

A possible solution is available for this newsletter bonus case study at the Instructor Premium Websites for the Guffey-Loewy books Business Communication: Process and Product and Essentials of Business Communication. Look under the tab “Supplements and Solutions.” Instructors using my books may also write to me (m.e.guffey@cox.net) and request this solution.

Source: Guffey-Loewy, Business Communication: Process and Product, 8e.

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