Before you send
1. Always think twice
Okay, you’re angry or upset. Write your e-mail. Save it. Read it. Go have a coffee. Read it again. Then ask yourself the big question – is it really worth sending? Chances are it isn’t.
2. Keep it clean
Remember that everyone will interpret things differently. Jokes, pictures and lewd comments can truly offend.
3. Empathise with the reader
Think of the things you don’t like to receive in an e-mail. For example, are people always shouting IMPORTANT things in upper case, using hundreds of abbreviations and emoticons, sending large attachments? If you don’t like receiving certain things, why send them to others?
4. Check the ‘send to’ list before you send
Believe it or not, everyone doesn’t want to read your e-mail and you just might be sending your scathing thoughts about someone to everyone.
Tip: Draft your e-mail first – leaving who it is intended for in the To: line blank. If you accidentally hit “send” before you actually intended to, a prompt will remind you to input the recipient’s e-mail address. It’s a direct way to make sure your messages don’t go out before you want them to and gives you time to consider who really needs to be on the receiving end of the message.
5. Be polite
Whether at your desk or texting a message from your phone, saying ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’ in the introduction, anywhere throughout, or even waiting until the end of the message can make a huge difference.
6. Resist temptation
Yes, something was said. Yes, maybe you were criticized. Perhaps you were CC’d on an exchange between a colleague and your boss. How you respond next will say everything about you. Remember, once something is said, it can never be taken back.
7. See Point 1.