On an average day
at work, how many e-mail messages do you send? Because e-mail is so commonplace,
it is easy to make mistakes that can compromise the effectiveness of the
message. One of the biggest mistakes is allowing an informal style to
become careless or unprofessional. Another pitfall is writing emotionally
charged messages that may upset or offend the reader. Finally, including
sensitive or confidential information can be potentially damaging to both
you and your company.
Following a few simple
guidelines can help you avoid these pitfalls, whether you are writing
to an external client, the CEO, or a colleague. Before you click on "send,"
ask yourself the following questions to assure that your message is clear,
appropriate and professional:
Organize for Impact
Edit for Accuracy and Appropriateness
If you want to try your hand at e-mail editing, re-write the following message using the above tips. Send your version to firstname.lastname@example.org for feedback.
Subject: Scheduling Conflict
Hi Jane, I hope you had a great weekend. I need to let you know that I have a scheduling conflict tomorrow, so it looks like I probably won't be able to be at the meeting.
By the way, you said that you would send me the test results last Thursday, but it's already Monday and I haven't seen them. What's up? I need to review them TODAY so I can give my assessment to Rob and he can present it at the meeting tomorrow. It's starting to get old, this chasing after information.
Is Rosemary in charge of circulating the meeting minutes again? I hope she does a better job than last timeshe left out half of the action items. Why don't you take some notes just in case and e-mail them to me.
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