Career and Life Coaching
The problem with this useful and practical communication technique is that not everyone knows how to properly use it, or sometimes due to the rush of their days, they forget to put in practice some important e-mail etiquette rules to be able to create a concise, well-written and to-the-point e-mail message.
Do you remember the last time you sent an e-mail, and after pressing the send button, you realized that the e-mail was sent either to the wrong person or had a bunch of mistakes? I certainly do. I was writing an e-mail to a prospect client who was living in Miami, Fla. at that time, and at the same time, reading an e-mail from a good friend who was having marital problems. Long story short, the e-mails got all mixed up, and I ended up forwarding the e-mail from my friend to my client. I was able to fix the misunderstanding, but oh boy! What an embarrassment.
According to emailreplies.com, many companies send e-mail replies late or not at all, or send replies that do not actually answer the questions you asked. If your company is able to deal professionally with e-mail, knowing the e-mail etiquette rules will provide your company with that all-important competitive edge. Moreover, by knowing these rules you can learn what can and cannot be said or done in an e-mail, which in one way or another will help you protect your company from awkward liability issues and you from losing your job.
There are many different etiquette rules in the professional field, and some of these rules will vary depending to the type of business or company structure. Below, I will share with you six of the most important e-mail etiquette rules that apply to practically all professional settings:
1) Writing the message: Make sure the structure of your e-mail message applies to the situation. When sending business e-mails, do not forget to follow standard writing protocol. Avoid confusing abbreviations, emoticons or other distracting slang (eg., LOL, TTYL, BTW, etc.) in professional e-mails.
2) Length of the message: Try as much as possible to keep the message short and to the point. Sending a long message will put you in risk of losing the receiver’s attention within the first two paragraphs.
3) Overuse of e-mail messages: Do not use e-mails to avoid personal contact with your receiver. Face-to-face communication is still considered the best way of personal/professional communication when dealing with important matters.
4) E-mails are not private: Do not write in an e-mail anything that can haunt you in the future. E-mail messages sent from work e-mail accounts are considered business property and can be retrieved, screened and examined without your consent.
5) Tone of the message: Do not forget that tones cannot be heard in an e-mail. Make sure to maintain the tone of your e-mail professional and free of sarcasm.
6) Contact information: Never assume the receiver knows who you are or how to get in touch with you. Including your contact information at the end of your message will help the receiver to have an alternate way of getting in touch with you in case he needs to.
Practicing these simple rules will help you improve your e-mail writing abilities, and at the same time, will provide a positive professional image to you and to your company. But remember: “electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.” - Charles Dickens
About the Author:
Marielys Camacho-Reyes has more than 10 years of experience in the human resources field and is a career/personal coach. If you would like to receive a one-time free coaching session, visit her website at mcrcoaching.com.
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