People often ask me about how to communicate effectively through written communication, especially electronic communication at work. It’s quite easy to come across as harsh and critical in your emails, even if it’s not how you meant it to be. Written communication, in general, is faceless and cold, and it’s difficult to be quick and direct, without sounding cold and stern. So here are a few tips on how to write business emails:
Tip 1: Stick to a structure – formal or informal.
Written communication can be formal or informal. If you’re requesting collaboration from a colleague, or someone from another department, it’s a formal communication. And formal communication doesn’t need to reflect your personality. Try to be professional without being emotional, critical, harsh, or poetic while expressing your requirements. And remember to use the spell check tool before sending any formal communication.
On the other hand, if you’re congratulating a colleague, then your written communication falls in the informal category. Here, you can be yourself. However, keep in mind not to get too personal because after all, you’re at work. Keep personal matters out of your workplace.
Tip 2: Use simple words and sentences.
You are writing an email, or letter, to convey your message. And the best way to convey your message is by using simple words and sentences. Since you won’t be physically present when your written communication is read, you have to put in a effort to make sure the recipients of your written communication understand your message.
Tip 3: Keep it short.
Written communication is meant to be comprehensive. Unless you’re sending any business reports, try to keep your communication to a maximum of 2 pages. Anything more is usually just a waste of your as well as the recipient’s time. Get to the point in the introduction, explain your requirements in the body of the communication, and conclude by reiterating your needs. Short and simple!
So here were some of the tips you can use in keeping electronic communication professional.
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