Why Do You Think My E-mails Are BAD?

Published May 2, 2012

My partner Charles told me yesterday that he is tired of people asking him about my emails. "What, I ask him, does that mean?" "Well, he said they want to know if you are mad."

Oops, are my emails that bad? Why do people think I am mad when I send an email? Is it because I am blunt and to the point? Does it have to do with the fact that I don't put any flowery language in there such as using my addressee's name or signing off with my name? Am I too short and sweet with my emails? One of my partners signs off with, "Have a super day". I try this sometimes, but it feels fake. What is a super day? Maybe a better phrase would be, "Have a wealthy day" or "Have a healthy day".

When signing off on official letters, not emails, I like to use, "Yours very truly". It sounds old timey and formal. It also is tongue in check especially when you are writing a stern legal letter.

Since people in my firm have commented about my emails, I will share one of my pet email peeves. When replying to a group email, you don't need to hit reply all. It is ok that I don't know what you are saying in response. Do I sound cranky? Well, maybe but there are just too many emails to distract me.

When I do trainings I also warn supervisors about emails. Whatever you do, don't discipline or comment on employee behavior via the email. If you must do it, meet with the employee first, then follow up with an email. Actually, it is better to meet in person and present a write up. Emails are cold and come across harsh. (Clue to Carla –sweeten up your emails)

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