• Sample pages

Page 2

Tip 4: Cut and Paste Rather Than Hit “Reply” on Long, Continuing Emails

Don’t make recipients read through long lines of their previous email to find your two-sentence reply. Delete all the other background or explanatory information originally sent and leave only the pertinent questions along with your responses. Or, cut the pertinent questions and paste them into a new email, accompanied with your responses.

Although not so critical when you’re responding only to the original writer of the email (because they can more easily distinguish between their original message and your responses), others who may be copied on your reply will have difficulty in separating the original comments from the responses.

Tip 5: Be Wary of Humor or Sarcasm

Humor is extremely difficult to convey in writing because you do not have the same body language “softeners” (a twinkle in the eye, a smile, a shrug of the shoulders) that provide interpretation clues in face-to-face conversations. That’s why comedy writers earn big bucks. Either make sure your humor works, use the typical sideways smiley face as a label, or don’t try it.

Neither is sarcasm any more acceptable in email than in face-to-face communication. Sending off a scathing attack with some disclaimer about “the humor-impaired should skip this message” does not rule out offense and mitigate the criticism. In short, don’t write anything in email that you wouldn’t want forwarded to your CEO, your customers, your family, or your friends.

Tip 6: Allow Cool-Off Time Before Sending a Flame or Any Emotional Message

Sending negative messages that contain insensitive, insulting, negative, and critical comments are called flames. Before you flame, cool off. Once you hit the “send” button, you’re committed.

As a safety valve, leave an emotionally charged message in your out-box or drafts folder for an hour or a day. Ask yourself: Would I say this face to face? Remember that there really is another live person on the receiving end.

Particularly, avoid flaming in public. If you must send a negative message to someone who originated a message, do not post your flame or send it to an entire distribution list. Even in the old TV westerns, the cowboys “stepped outside” to start a fistfight. Others really do not appreciate being involved in a personal debate or insulting email match.

Bookmark the permalink.
Submit your review

Create your own review

  • SkillBites Exclusives

    Click Below to receive a FREE eBook in your preferred category!

    Business SkillBites Lifestyle SkillBites
  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.