This week's blog post focusing on writing brings you the TEACH method of writing. I have borrowed this method from Kent Sanders over at the Daily Writer Podcast. If you are intent on learning how to write for a living, then go find the Daily Writer Podcast at your favorite podcast listening site. If you want to find the specific episode where Kent shares his TEACH method, take a look at the link in the reference section below. In the meantime, leaders continue reading here to learn how to apply the TEACH method to your emails.
I am sharing the TEACH method today on the heels of the Call to Action (CTA) blog post from last week, because Kent has done an excellent job helping you as an email writer elucidate the steps necessary to lead to a successful CTA. OK, so what exactly is the TEACH method? Below you can find an explanation of each letter:
T - Take their attention
E - Explain the main idea
A - Apply it to their situation
C - Counter their objections
H - Help them take action
Leaders, your emails should be as short as possible and to the point. To shorten your emails, utilize the the subject line to "Take their attention." Attention grabbing emails and subject lines are tricky in business and leadership emails, so maintaining constant contact and understanding your team's strengths and limitations will help you write a subject line that takes their attention. To learn more about subject lines, tune in next week when we write about email etiquette.
Luckily, email writing needs to be short and to the point. Leaders do not need to spend an entire paragraph explaining the main idea in most emails. In general, emails are just a part of a "larger conversation" so explaining the main idea could be summarized in one sentence.
In coming posts, we will talk at length about applying context to your writing. Kent's approach calls this applying it to their situation. Learning, growing, and executing requires a connection from your readers. Your team members reading an email must understand how the actions you are asking them to take in the Call to Action (CTA) will impact or benefit their day. In short, can your email answer the age old questions, "What's in it for me?"
As a leader, you are asking your team members to take an action. Occasionally, they may not agree with your stance. Listen clearly to their objections. A strong servant leaders knows their team members. A strong servant leader understands the objections of their team members. Use this time in your email establish a connection with your team members by acknowledging their objections to your call to action, before you introduce the action you are asking of them.
In the final paragraph, establish your Call to Action (CTA) by helping them. Ask them specifically what task you want them to complete including a timeline. Including a timeline, as we have discussed previously, helps your team members be successful, a critical characteristic for a servant leader. In this final section, provide the details, format clearly, and state explicitly what actions are needed.
Hit Send! Emails are important. They are also (mostly) short-lived. Follow the TEACH method when you are writing a CTA style email. Review, but do not dwell too long. We all have work to do. No more nail biting. You have followed the method, now get back to work!