While communication moves quicker than ever before, the presentation has digressed. We can send an email in a flash, post a blog up in less than a minute, and send text messages without even looking at our phones.
The convenience of it all has taken away from the quality. And when it comes to workplace communication, the inferiority of our messages can cost us respect or worst of all, sometimes our job.
Although they have been reviewed before, a 2009 refresher couldn’t hurt. Avoid these top 10 email mistakes at work…
1. Cursing or using inappropriate slang in email. Even if you think it makes you look cool, it doesn’t: Just unprofessional.
2. Forwarding chain letters. You really think your coworkers want the make a wish, send to 10 people you know, and the wish will come true email?
3. Leaving the subject line blank. Let people know what you want. That way they can decide to automatically delete it, or just a quick once-over.
4. Don’t be too lazy for spell check. It really only adds on a few seconds to your email routine.
5. Don’t forget common courtesy. Is it really so hard to put a salutation at the beginning and a thank you at the end? Outlook even automatically does your signature.
6. Using distracting punctuation, such as all CAPS, too many periods….or even a displeasing font size or color.
7. Double-check who the email is addressed to. Outlook can be wonderful, but it can also lead to disaster if you meant to send it to a group email and instead sent it to your entire department. Also, don’t reply-all unless it is necessary.
8. Faulty attachments are just annoying. Make sure that your attachment can be opened on most computers, and if it can’t, switch it into a program that can.
9. Keep a clear message. Could your recipient misunderstand the meaning of your email? A good rule of thumb is to read it three times and try to read it from their perspective.
10. If you are sending an email with an unpleasant message or even just something you are angry/passionate about, draft it and then send it the next morning. That way it will give you time to cool down, collect your thoughts, and ensure that you truly want to send that email.