do not have cultural nuances or require collaboration, but that is its limit. Act affirmatively to limit the
sanctioned use of email in global communications.
An effective communications approach uses all means available, and optimizes the use of each. Many
collaborative communication tools are now available and really help with foundational communication.
One example is Microsoft’s SharePoint. It is a browser-based collaboration tool and document-management platform, and in conjunction with a global legal team’s intranet, can be used to host shared
workspaces and documents, as well as wikis and blogs.”
- Tim Glassett, former General Counsel, Hilton Hotels International
4 D. Guidelines for effective use of email
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
- George Bernard Shaw
Nowhere is this wise comment truer than for email correspondence.
Often, there is costly waste or repetition when communication is not clear. Good
communication is thus a primary way to increase value. For this reason, corporate counsel in
Europe and around the world must devote special attention to training their people in effective email
The following guidelines were adapted from a major global hospitality company.
Guidelines for email to external providers and in cross-border communications
Choice of media
•;Avoid using email when a personal call or visit is possible and more appropriate.
•;Use a phone call first and follow up with email if the person you are emailing speaks a
different native language than you.
•;Target your audience carefully when you send information.
•;When communication seems unclear or tense, break the cycle of “send and respond”
and call the other person to discuss personally.
•;Try not to respond (and do not expect responses) to emails outside reasonable business
hours unless agreed in advance.
•;Always ask outside providers when they need a response, and respond within that