As communication professionals, we all know how important it is to put our own best foot forward with the content we produce. Not only are our reputations shaped by the work we produce, they’re impacted by the way we interact with others. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed attention to one particular interaction fall by the wayside – the way we communicate through email.
I guess I first noticed poor email etiquette about five years ago. That was when I received an email from a colleague that seemed incredibly curt. I had to take a minute and give them the benefit of the doubt, hoping that wasn’t the tone they intended to convey.
Since then, I’ve noticed these types of abrupt emails have become the norm. It’s certainly understandable. We’re all incredibly busy these days, and any communication we send has to be done quickly. Not to mention the fact that texting has infiltrated and shifted the way we interact. So much so, that we end up treating emails like texts.
But an email isn’t the same as a text, at all. It’s an electronic form of letter writing. While that sounds old school, it’s one thing I try to keep in mind. After all, when I’m emailing colleagues or clients, I don’t want them to be caught off guard by an unintended tone or message.
It only takes me a few seconds more to make sure every email I send contains a greeting, courteous tone, and closing. By taking that tiny bit of effort, I’ve done everything I can to ensure that even my emails help me put my best foot forward.