The same way the words you use when you speak are only a small part of how people receive your message, the way you choose to write your messages says a lot about you and how people will respond to you.
When you’re aware of how people FEEL when they read your words, it helps you to adjust and get better results.
Let’s look at it with the best scenario in mind, when they get an email from you (John), would most people think:
- This must be important, John only writes when it’s impactful for my team or me.
- Research shows that 80% of what companies communicate to their employees require no action (or reaction) and nothing would happen if they were never read. (What a waste of time!)
- Make sure that you don’t label all of your messages as “URGENT”…When everything is urgent, nothing is!
- This could be good news, John loves writing to let me know when one of my employee has done an exceptional job.
- If you only write to complain, chances are the person receiving your comments won’t be in a hurry to read what you have to say.
- And if you do have to write to complain, make sure you always do it in a respectful way, keeping the focus on a solution and making sure you acknowledge your responsibility in a bad situation.
- This message could be read right now, even if I only have a few minutes, John really knows how to write in a concise manner.
- If you do this right, the reader should be able to figure out at a glance what needs to be done.
- This message won’t be boring, let’s see what John has to say.
- Make sure your short email is punctuated with a lot of bold characters and enough space between paragraphs.
- And don’t forget your basic PLEASE and THANK YOU, they’re never out of style!
- This message could be exactly what I need to read right now, John has a way to introduce a positive twist to any situation.
- Instead of complaining, try suggesting a better way, offering assistance and assuring the full collaboration of your team.
- If you know that your colleague is going through a rough time, try offering your help or just invite him or her to lunch so you can help him or her see the situation from a different perspective. Just listen…what a gift!
As a leader, you set the tone! People will adjust according to your style!
If you want to receive concise, respectful and “to the point” emails, make sure that’s what YOU do. Since this is also part of your Personal Branding, it’s important that you take the time to make sure that WHAT you write, and HOW your write, reflects your values.
So what do you think people say when they receive an email from you? What could you improve? Let me know in the Comments section. We could all benefit from your ideas.