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8 Words And Phrases That You Should Never Use In Formal Emails

8 Words And Phrases That You Should Never Use In Formal Emails

Email is a powerful tool for reaching out to new business prospects. The efficacy of a properly crafted email can be pivotal in reaching new career heights and instigating a working relationship.

When communicating through an email, you should understand the functionality of the message you are sending. It is important to know that a formal email should be directed at initiating something thoughtful rather than starting out with words and presenting a message that is thoughtless.

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A formal email should be effective and thoughtful enough to start or build a working relationship. Your choice of words can sound rich and evocative enough to get you the response you desire or can be tactless and empty enough to get you the silence or the response you detest. So here are the words that you need to avoid using in your next formal email.

1. “I am forwarding…” or “I have forwarded…”

Rather than using a variation on the word “forward,” just use “send” instead. In email, using a word like “forwarding” means that you are sending material from one person to another. Just be specific instead with the word “send.”

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2. “Please note that…”

People tend to use these words politely and innocently, perhaps because they are simply trying to indicate something and want the reader to pay active attention. The truth is that this phrase is actually passive. Using a phrase like “be advised” shows that you are more assertive, proactive, and professional rather than priggish.

3. “Sincerely yours,”

“Sincerely yours,” “Very truly yours,” “Yours very truly,” — these words that sound so endearing could apply in the Victorian era, not now in the digital age. You don’t belong sincerely to anyone. Even when you know the person already, you don’t have to bring such familiarity to a formal email. Rather than use such outdated words, replace them with a formal word like “faithfully” or “regards” — yet, even this should be done with caution and according to the situation and relationship.

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4. “I hope you are well.”

The word “hope” doesn’t have any place in a formal email. Are you trying to come across as a caring and concerned person? Or are you trying to force a working relationship by showing concern? Instead, show that you respect the recipient’s time and get to the point quickly.

5. “Respectfully,”

This sounds negative, like you are respectfully declining a request or a decision. It adds a somber tone to your email and it doesn’t really soften the position or the content of your email.

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6. “Kindly”

I rarely see this word in formal emails. If you are still using this word, it is best you stop. It is old-fashioned and seemingly antiquated. It is better you use “please” rather than “kindly.”

7. “Please do not hesitate to contact me.”

“Hesitate,” when coined and used half a century ago, meant that you wanted to offer a lightened or a softer touch to your request. However, when the words became popular, it quickly became a cliché. By using a cliché in your email, you come across as unoriginal and disingenuous. Be personal with your words and use something like “please call me” or “send me an email,” which is still polite but doesn’t have a cliché attached to it.

8. “I thought I should reach out.”

People like to be indirect and express themselves in a soft tone or plea to get what they want. This phrase, which has suddenly become popular, sounds like a babyish approach at eliciting a response from the person you are sending your email to. This supposedly soft approach doesn’t make you sound direct or active. Be clear rather than being cloudy or vague with your words. Rather than say you are trying to reach out, just express the action you are asking the recipient to make. Being direct and clear could get you the reply you want.

Featured photo credit: http://www.picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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