How to send emails that communicate well. | Tip Tuesday

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Have you ever received a text or email where the sender sounded very blunt or angry?  I know I have!  All the time!  And it hurts when you receive those messages.  You want to take it personally and maybe send something not-so-polite back.  But you know what I've learned?  Most of the time how they send that email is not at all how they meant for it to come across! 

Let's be honest for a minute.  Emails and texting are amaaazing, but they're missing one key part of communication....tone.  In a phone call, voice message, or in-person conversation you can hear what the person is saying and from that decipher their emotion and what they're truly trying to say.  Tone is a huge part of communication, and is something crucial that texting and emails are lacking.  This is something that is very easy to forget, and not a lot of people are aware of! 

Every time I receive one of those (probably unintentional) nasty emails or texts I want so badly to respond with "Can you send me 3 emojis that best express how you're feeling?".  Unfortunately, that is (albeit funny) NOT professional at all and simply not an option.  So instead I'm going to teach you how to avoid sounding nasty in your own emails/texts, and how you can respond helpfully when you receive one yourself! 

 

1.  Use exclamation! 

If you spend any time on my website you will quickly realize that I LOVE the exclamation point and use it quite often!  The exclamation point is great for conveying excitement, importance, or urgency.  If someone sends you a text saying, "Can't wait to see you Friday!", don't respond with "See you then."  Instead, respond with "See you then!".  It comes across much more enthusiastic and lets the other person know you really are excited to see them! 

2. Put effort into your responses. 

For this one I have to pick on my Mom a little bit.  Those who know my Mom know she is one of those most warm-hearted, kind people you will ever meet.  I recognize I am biased, but I've had enough people praise her that I truly believe she's one of the best people you'll ever know.  Although I must admit, her texting hasn't always been the best.   I remember it was my Sophomore year at college, and I was very excited to come home for break.  I sent her a text saying something along the lines of "I miss you so much, I'm so excited to see you in a couple of days, can't wait to be home!  xx," something mushy like that.  As a response, all I got was "Mutual."  To this day we still laugh about it because it was such a typical Danielle response!  Don't just send one word messages, respond with equal enthusiasm and put thought into the response! 

3. Use emojis! 

Whoever thought of the idea to create emojis, I applaud them!  This is more for texting versus professional emails, but emojis are a great way of conveying emotion and giving your word context, especially if you are using sarcasm!  My family is huge on sarcasm, so you best believe we use a LOT of emojis!  My personal favorites are the monkey-covering-eyes one and the laughing/crying face.  Comment below which emojis are your favorites!

4. Use full sentences! 

Total transparency, I struggle with this sometimes.  When you agree with someone, instead of just saying "okay," instead say something like "sounds great to me!" or "good idea, Joe! Let's do that!".  Resist the urge to be lazy and spend the extra five seconds wording an appropriate response that doesn't sound short or snippy.  Also, why don't you throw in the "thumbs up" emoji for good measure!

5. Respond with enthusiasm! 

When you receive a message that comes across harsh or nasty, don't respond to it in like!  Instead, respond to them using these tips, and hope that it perhaps gives them a small hint.  At the very least, be clear about how you are feeling and ask them up front exactly what they mean if you truly are confused about the tone of their message.  If a conversation seems to be headed south, the best bet is to always schedule a phone call to talk about it rather than continue messaging.  Hearing ones voice always helps to clarify the situation and resolve and underlying tension.

 

Next time you're shooting an email or message, use these small changes to prevent any messages you send from sounding different than you intend!  Here's to sounding genuine and authentic in every text or email you send!

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Katie xx