Communication Corner Session 4: Professional Email Communication

Communication Corner Session 4:

Professional Email Communication

Opal Business Solutions believes that being an effective communicator is important within a business. We will provide tips on how to be an effective communicator in our own, communication corner.

Have you ever read an email and were upset, only to have someone else read the same email and they don’t understand why you are upset?  Truth is we all probably experience this at one point in time.  Writing via email is very difficult, because you are not able to see someone facial expressions or body language.  Certain words may be viewed as aggressive by some and passive by others.  That makes it even more important to carefully construct emails that are very direct and deliver the message you intend to send.  To help you construct professional emails, I have created 10 tips to help you construct better emails.

  1. Clear Subject Line: The message in the subject line should clearly state the intent of the email.
  2. Always review the email addresses: Do not forget to include all parties, especially when responding to a group email make sure you hit “REPLY ALL”.
  3. Include a Signature Block with your Name, Title, company website, Company Name, and Phone. You may also include cell phone, company logo, and company address.
  4. Use Professional Greetings: No “hey guys”, or ”How’s it going gals?”. Use their correct name (ex Michael) unless you know they prefer a different name (ex Mike).
  5. Avoid Humor: Be very careful using humor.  It can be taken in the wrong context and turn out to be offensive instead of funny.
  6. Be Culturally Aware: Different cultures speak and write differently.  Some Asian cultures prefer to get to know you personally before doing business with you, and so they may want you to be less formal in the email.  Many European countries prefer a more formal approach and want you to be direct and to the point.
  7. Proof read all your emails.
  8. Add the email addresses last, so you do not accidentally email an unpolished or incomplete message.
  9. Do not be tone deaf. Read your message out loud, and if it sounds harsh or rough to you, then the reader may take it the same way.  To help avoid this you can use key words throughout your message to soften the tone.  Use “Please” and “Thank You”, while avoid using negative words like “failure”, “wrong”, or “incorrect”.
  10. Finally, NOTHING IS CONFIDENTIAL. Write messages as if anyone may read the content.  Just placing a tag on the bottom of an email does not protect you.

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