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Deal with a confusing email chain

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in Office Communication,Workplace Communication

Group emails can get away from you. People chime in, add information and responses, and it all becomes pretty convoluted. If you find yourself caught up in a confusing email chain, do this:

Point out the problem. Send a short email to everyone saying “Hi, everyone. I’ve gotten lost in this round of emails, and I need to clear some things up.”

Suggest a quick meeting. For example, “I think we should meet quickly to go over everything and finalize the key points. If no one objects, I’ll set the meeting for today when everyone is free.” If someone does object to meeting …

Follow up with a recap. Very quickly sum up the points discussed, actions agreed to, and so on and send it out. Say, “Because we couldn’t meet, I’ve summed up what we discussed.” Then say, “Did I leave anything out?”

— Adapted from “How to End the Never-Ending Email Chain Without Being Rude,” The Muse, www.themuse.com.

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