The importance of email cannot be neglected in the corporate communication of today. Just like in verbal communication, the words you use determine the impact you make on others. Hence, mastering good email communication skills is essential for the success in your career. The right choice of words helps you to come across as more confident, concise an self-assured. This provokes a higher willingness of people to handle the requests. I always try to improve my e-mail communication skills. In this trend, I am happy to share you the five words that I have eliminated from my emails. The effect? Higher quality of emails. Is that not exactly what we want?
It sounds like a commandment and that does not really invite people to do what you want them to do. Instead, by using words like “want” or “could”, the story becomes completely different. You trigger people to help you. The best is to use this in combination with asking direct questions. Many of us like to wrap requests in long descriptions. Formulating questions lets you to be more straight to the point. As a result, it will not only be a lot easier for the other person to understand your request but also to fulfil it. Do not forget that keeping it short also prevents reading fatigue. By applying these two points, the question could for example look like this: “Could you write the proposal based on the following information?”.
Not only does “just” not add any value to the meaning of the sentence, it can even make you come across as being less confident. Using it creates the feeling that the issue on hand is not important but you somehow still want to bring it to the attention of the other party. For example, compare “I just wanted to follow up on our previous phone conversation” with “I wanted to follow up on our previous phone conversation”. Next time, try to eliminate it straight away to let your request holds its importance and value.
Many emails we send out ask for urgent action. Explicitly mentioning this is more than justified. However, using words like “urgent” & “asap” is not the best way to go as they refer to a vague deadline and as such can cause confusion & irritation. Why do you not state clearly the exact date and even hour by which you want a specific task to be completed? Clear communication motivates the other person to reserve a time slot in their busy schedule and treat the task with high-priority.
Many of us have the tendency to say sorry for inconvenient occurrences or mistakes, even if it was not our fault. We do this out of politeness and courtesy. However, this is a complete no-go! A much better idea is to thank the other party and focus on the solution instead:“Thank you for your understanding, I am now working towards a solution”. This way, you stay in your own power as well as show appreciation to the other. Also, if you really have made a mistake, you should pick up the phone to personally apologise (like you mean it).
“Think” is another word that make you seem less confident in whatever sentence you are putting it. I know that there are a lot of things that can not be said with certainty, as they are based on speculation and forecasting. However, there are a couple of expressions that you can use. Among these are, for example, “it is expected that..” and “the current situation is suggesting the following…”
These are small issues but can have a huge impact on raising the standards of our e-mails if we eliminate them. Go ahead in takng them along your way of nailing your e-mails. Do you have any other tips when it comes to email etiquette? Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time.