1 April 2008

Showing Initiative When Using Your Letter Opener

Although I rarely get anything of real importance by regular mail, I still receive a lot of mail by courier and by fax. Is there opportunity in the mail? Can we show initiative in this seemingly menial task?

I think we can give our boss a sense of confidence in our abilities in how we handle the mail. Here are a few tips:
  • Date stamp the correspondence. Sometimes the date a letter is received can be very important to your boss, especially if it is time sensitive information.
  • Open the envelope carefully. Sometimes using the letter opener may not only open the envelope, but may tear the letter as well.
  • Check the envelope for any enclosures.
  • Quickly read over the correspondence and look for dates and deadlines. Highlight anything your boss will need to be aware of. Put the dates in your boss’s calendar or tasks.
  • Get any files your boss will need to go with the correspondence.
  • I put a yellow sticky on the letter with any questions I might have, i.e. Does this need to be copied to a client? Do you want me to book a boardroom for this? Anything that you think might require your assistance. This lets your boss know you have read the letter and are willing to assist. If your boss has the time, you can also sit down and go over the mail with him or her and ask any questions and get instructions at that time.
  • Sort the mail in order of priority. I have a folder for high priority mail and one for “junk” mail and publications and newspapers. (I open the junk mail and open any plastic wrappings on magazines to make it easier for my boss to review). If something is urgent I bring it directly to my boss's attention.
  • If you get a letter and you know what needs to be done, draft a response letter for your boss or complete the required paperwork. Some letters I receive I know what is required so I go ahead and do it and bring it to my boss for signature. It is appreciated when they have one less thing they need to worry about. If you have never tried this, do a draft letter first. Your boss will either think it is great the way it is or they will change it, but you have still shown initiative and a willingness to assist.


Anonymous said...

These are some really great tips!

One other thing that I do is skim over the professional journals for articles that might be of particular interest to my boss, and bookmark them for him.

Patricia Robb said...

You have a lucky boss :)