Email etiquette can be tricky. More often than not, emails are misinterpreted if you don’t use the right words, especially when dealing across different regions, cultures and languages. We’ve all been in this situation, either as the addressee who is looking at the screen in confusion, or as the sender who thinks the meaning is clear as day.The golden rule of any communication is to be as precise as possible. After all, you’re not a mind reader and neither is your audience. Before you send a hasty email and risk offending or annoying the receiver, be sure to eliminate these words and phrases from your email and write more succinctly. 1. “Checking in” or “Just”Both these phrases are often used by those who have a tendency to micromanage tasks. It basically indicates that you constantly need to know and monitor how everyone else is progressing with work. Similarly, saying things like, “just checking in” minimises your request. You are not just checking in; you are a responsible co-worker who deserves to know what is being done! Instead, find ways to discuss next steps, as it implies a progressive and a forward-thinking attitude. 2. “Thanks in advance!”This commonly used phrase usually follows a request and may imply that the recipient is already expected to help with the request. How presumptuous! By continuing to make requests with the idea that everyone else will be agreeable, you might garner a reputation for being pushy or bossy, neither of which you should be striving for. 3. “Hopefully”What are you hoping for? Are you “hoping” the email reaches them - why wouldn’t it? Are you “hoping” they will meet the deadline - why shouldn’t they? It seems like an insignificant word, but it can greatly hinder an email’s effectiveness. One shouldn’t have to be hopeful at their workplace. People just need to get things done. By telling someone that you “hope”, you’re subconsciously showing that you lack control over a situation, or passive aggressively insinuating they they might not rise to your expectations. Whoops. 4. “Please be advised…”Unless you’re a lawyer, stop using this phrase immediately. You’re not “giving advice” typically, you’re informing people in your office, or your client, of something. Instead of,”Please be advised that I requested him to speak to me tomorrow”, just write, “I told him to speak to me tomorrow”. Simple, no?
If “told” sounds too harsh in some contexts just jump straight into what you’re trying to say instead. Rather than, “Please be advised the client is not happy”, say, “Unfortunately, the client is not happy”. 5. “Sorry to bother you, but…”You might be attempting to sound polite and considerate, but opening an email with an apology immediately undermines your credibility. Instead of apologising, get straight to the point: Why are you really contacting them, and what do you need from them? They'll appreciate your candor and, really, you’re not actually sorry you’re ‘bothering’ someone, are you? Looking for more tips to advance your career trajectory. Visit Career Center today.