Do you ever find yourself reading an email from a colleague or boss and then feeling confused or anxious? As a communication tool at work, email is still a core tool for many people. However, it is often also the cause of tension and confusion, which can lead to work stress and other negative consequences. Unlike face-to-face conversations, it can be tricky to judge someone’s tone in an email. Or an email can go on and on, when the person could have communicated what they need in a few sentences. And when is it appropriate to use slang or emoticons? Should you use email for a difficult conversation (the answer is almost always no). Navigating the world of email communication can be a bit of a minefield, but it doesn’t have to be.
If you’re looking for some guidance, our collection offers:
Faster, Fewer, Better Emails by Dianna Booher
Netiquette: email etiquette, rules and style by Robert Jerome
Communication Smarts by Sandy Donovan
These sites also have plenty of helpful advice:
Instructional Solutions discusses the basics of email, as well as style and format (i.e. the fonts that work best, and how much white space you should allow). Forbes also has plenty of advice in their article. One piece of helpful advice? “Don’t put something in an email if you can’t afford for a colleague to forward it along thoughtlessly. And please don’t be that colleague who thoughtlessly forwards along sensitive information to people who weren’t meant to see it.”