A lot has been said about email etiquette in the early days, when internet taught us a thing or two about behaviour. Bad emails, whether sent or received, have the consequences that cannot be taken back.
Before the clients leave you, friends never talk to you again and you count opportunities lost to miscommunication, browse through this humble run-down on common blunders:
Don’t use all caps – that’s SHOUTING. Some people want to shout at others – one marketing guru wrote that number of caps in an email is inversely proportional to amount of love one received as a child. Shouted email communicates anger more than information it transmitted.
Don’t show everyone’s email in the open. It will haunt some of your friends for years with a spam, as one or more of the addressees are most likely affiliated with some sort of spammers. In the age of collecting email addresses for all kinds of reasons, this one will bite you more than just angry associates.
Be the last stop when trusted with a secret or gossip about mutual acquaintances. You will be taken to task for releasing it sooner or later. Internet bullying has had severe repercussions on many lives – don’t be a part of it in your personal social media interactions and be especially careful in business relationships as you may simply end-up being sued for liable.
Don’t use your business signature in unrelated matters. That’s misrepresentation. Being at work until late in the day does not stop people from doing private business when they need to. That includes not only family matters, but also volunteer work and moonlight jobs. Signing email with your employer’s signature (because it is automatically inserted when you start writing) in unrelated business can have far reaching consequences. You may be fired for inappropriate use of the company’s time and logo, if you do, and you may be bitten in many ways.
Instead of thinking “Look who I am…“ or not thinking at all when sending an email, consider that the addressee can easily reach your boss or blackmail you, or laugh at your just demonstrated self-esteem problem. Use appropriate signatures for each of your emails.
Don’t write anything that cannot be reprinted in a reputable newspaper. Because of the intrinsic media features, your email may end up in a newspaper, on Facebook, in your mother’s inbox or on your CEO’s desk, all at the same time. The value of polite, concise and clear messages cannot be over emphasized.
Another point of miscommunication comes from the conviction that: ‘To criticise, you should praise the person first…’ . Known for extreme politeness, Canadians often reflect this in their emails.
Have you received an email from your client or boss, saying how great your work is, just to read in the next paragraph: Please change this, this, and this, and it turns out when you think about it for a minute, he/she didn’t like what you’ve done at all. It’s not a blunder, but a warning rather to read your emails carefully to comprehend what was intended to be communicated.
Wishing you smooth, effective communication that gets right to the point in a professional, balanced way.