Well, all of you must have used email to communicate in the past for your official college projects, applications and so on. However, you will truly realize the importance of this medium of communication once you get your first job. Email is the one thing that keeps an organization together and functioning whether it works well or not. In fact, many people are of the opinion that email is a largely broken tool for use in official communication and companies should look at other modes of communication but no has figured out a way to replace email yet and so here we are…
Email is an easy way to communicate with your colleagues as well as your clients. However, there can be multiple issues that crop up because of poor understanding of the etiquettes required. Long winded, pointless emails can make you cringe, full blown arguments can break out anytime and finally someone may totally misunderstand your context because of the way you structured your reply. These are some of the challenges with email which are often hurdles in the path towards effective communication.
So, today I have some simple tips for you guys. These will not make you an email ninja overnight but they will make you an efficient communicator if you take them seriously.
1. Keep it simple.
This should be the guiding mantra of email writing. Believe me when I tell you, no one is interested in reading long emails which beat around the bush. People are busy and your email should break through the clutter and give them the key points of your message. Your colleagues and clients will appreciate it if you can break down your thoughts and ideas into simple blocks of text which can be read within 30 secs to a minute.
2. Avoid excessive formality.
Many freshers and younger employees make a huge deal about emailing stuff to their bosses. They tend to be extremely formal and will complement everyone freely. This is not the right behavior. No matter who you are emailing, please be courteous but there is no need to go into formalities. Everyone comes to office to get stuff done and your email should embody this attitude. Write from a perspective of productivity instead of prestige.
3. Be human.
In the interest of simplicity and effective communication, please do not forego your personality and character while writing email. Communicate effectively but also personalize your email with phrases such as “Have a good one!”, “Enjoy the weekend”, “Hope you are doing well” etc. Don’t just write it, make sure that you mean it when you write this in your email.
4. Format your email properly.
If you have to write a longish email, then make sure that you are paying attention to the way the email body is formatted. Don’t clump everything into one paragraph. Divide your content into intelligent paragraphs depending on the kind of situation you’re dealing with. Italicize, bolden and hyperlink stuff when you need to. Use pleasing fonts whenever possible because your recipient will feel better when they read it.
5. Have a great subject line.
There are all kinds of people. Those who get a whole boatload of email everyday and those who don’t get much at all. But if you are emailing the first kind of people, then you should make sure that your subject line is crisp and gives the reader enough idea about the body of the mail. This is also important because the reader can search and find your email in his inbox if he remembers the title well enough.
An example would be: Regarding the finance presentation on Friday.
6. Finally, Email is not Instant Messaging.
Yes, there is a growing trend where many professionals treat email like IM pings. If you receive an email, you have to drop everything that you are doing and reply to it urgently. Otherwise you start feeling insecure about the topic and job at hand. This should not be the case. If you want to chat with someone, use IM on your phone or desktop but do not send emails. It is okay to reply to an email you have received only after you have completed whatever it is you were doing when it arrived. Do not let it distract you. Similarly, do not expect immediate replies from anyone.
I hope you will use these basic tips and start getting good at email communication. We will delve deeper into email tips, tricks, psychological hacks and so on in our future posts, so stay tuned.
If you have any experiences or opinions you want to share, please feel free to add them in the comments below.