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Do Your Emails Suck? How to Write Emails That Get Results

Do Your Emails Suck? How to Write Emails That Get Results
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Do Your Emails Suck?

    Feel like a slave to your inbox? Improve your writing and you’ll save plenty of time by eliminating miscommunications and the need for follow-up. Email management productivity tips can only do so much if you don’t know how to write an effective email. That doesn’t mean you have to strive for lyrical prose in every message (though I always welcome lyrical prose in my inbox). The key is to communicate clearly and effectively so that recipients know exactly what they need to do in response and you can avoid endless back-and-forth and time-consuming misunderstandings. The following are some basic guidelines for writing more effective emails:

    • Get to the Point: Every email that you write should have a clear purpose. For example, your purpose may be to deliver key information, to request a follow-up action, or to persuade someone to your point of view. In a well-written email, the purpose is stated early (in the first line of the email if possible) and followed by whatever supporting points that the reader is likely to need. Don’t burden your reader with paragraphs full of non-essential details. Don’t make him try to figure out what it is that you want. If you fail to state your purpose clearly or write long, meandering intros before getting to the point, your email is far more likely to get ignored or filed away for “later” and never looked at again. That means you’ll soon be writing another email.
    • It’s Not About You: Always keep your reader’s point of view in mind. Who is your audience? What do they care about in relation to this message? What details do they need to act on the email? Don’t assume that everybody’s priorities are the same as yours or that everyone has your frame of reference. To get the response you want, communicate what’s in it for the reader and make it as easy as possible to respond.
    • Write a Good Subject Line: Your recipients get a lot of email, including plenty of junk from both spammers and inconsiderate colleagues. Your email will likely be competing for attention in a very busy inbox. Therefore, you will always get a faster response if you take a moment to craft a clear and specific subject line that communicates why your message is important. Think about your subject line as a headline – it should make your recipient want to read more. For example, the subject line “Forms” is far less likely to get a speedy response than “Insurance Forms Due Monday.” And remember, if you’re forwarding or replying to a previous email, it may be worthwhile to change the subject line if you are introducing a new topic or purpose.
    • Don’t Take That Tone with Me! Getting your tone right in an email can be tricky. What you see as direct can be interpreted as insulting. What you consider enthusiasm can be read as pushiness. Nobody is eager to respond to an email with an attitude problem. You may even inadvertently set off a hissy fit, snit, or passive aggressive pout. None of these are conducive to productivity. Read over your email before you press send and think about how it will read. Are there any phrasings that could be misinterpreted? Would a “please” or “thank you” hurt? Of course, there are times when you have to deliver bad news or negative feedback and you can’t avoid a little bit of tone. In those situations, you’re probably better off scheduling a face-to-face meeting or phone call to minimize misunderstandings and give everyone a chance to clear the air.
    • Write Like a Grown-up – When you’re writing a professional email, spelling and grammar really do count. Save your uncapitalized, run-on sentences and your excessive LOLs and !!!s for the American Idol message board. If you want your email to be taken seriously, take a little time to proofread for embarrassing errors. And the same rules apply when you’re emailing from your PDA. People may cut you a little extra slack if they know you’re composing on a tiny keyboard at a stoplight, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to write like a grade schooler.
    • Don’t CC the Entire Free World: Think about who REALLY needs to see the message and leave everybody else out of it. Once you get a reputation for reckless CC’ing, your messages are likely to go to the bottom of the priority list.

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    Last Updated on February 17, 2020

    10 Ways To Always Be Yourself And Live Happily

    10 Ways To Always Be Yourself And Live Happily

    As you were probably told when you were in elementary school, “Just be yourself.” You can be a much happier person once you figure out who you truly are and when you learn how to be yourself.

    If you are like most people, then you have probably told yourself that things would be better if there were certain changes in your life or changes to yourself. You can make those positive changes yourself. Be proactive, and have a more positive outlook about yourself.

    Below are 10 ways to learn how to be yourself and live more happily:

    1. Don’t Aim to Please Others

    There is a problem if you are never doing what you want to do, yet always doing what everyone else wants to do. This Is Why You Shouldn’t Please Others But Yourself.

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    Pleasing others can be a nice thing to do, but know where your boundaries are. Instead of always aiming to please others, you should do things for yourself as well every now and then.

    2. Don’t Worry About How Others View You

    Occasionally thinking about how others view you may make you change for the good, but you should not be constantly wondering about what others are thinking. You should change if you want to, and change into what or who you want to change into.

    3. Learn More About Yourself

    Do you know who you really are? Ever since you were young, you have been conditioned to be one way or another. It may be weird just to spend a day being your spontaneous self, but sometimes it is the only way that you can learn how to be yourself.

    4. Appreciate Who You Are

    No matter how weird you are, appreciate yourself! Each person is unique, and everyone has at least a little weirdness in themselves. Appreciate your weirdness and let it out.

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    5. Be Confident with Who You Are

    Do you ever doubt yourself? Doubting yourself can be very easy if you are constantly comparing yourself to others and wondering “What if?”

    Instead of doubting yourself all the time, you should be confident with yourself and who you are. Showing confidence in yourself and your decisions will also show to others that you know what you are doing.

    6. Forgive Yourself

    Forgive yourself for thinking negatively. Forgive yourself for talking, without thinking twice. Forgive yourself for being rude to your superiors, your friends, your parents, or your siblings.

    Don’t think negative thoughts about yourself for taking wrong steps or making wrong decisions. This kind of thinking puts your focus on the problem and not the solution. It’s better to say good things about yourself than to say negative things. Always saying positive things about yourself is a sign that you have forgiven yourself.

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    These tips will be helpful for you: How to Forgive Yourself and Move Forward for a Happier Life

    7. Stop Being Negative About Yourself

    Do you look at everything as a glass half full or a glass half empty? It can be easy to be negative about yourself. When it comes to being happy, it is vital that you learn how to be yourself and to be more positive.

    8. Find a Hobby That You Love

    Everyone has something that they live for or that they love to do. Figure out what you love to do and make a hobby out of it. Doing what you love can make you much happier.

    9. Learn from Your Mistakes

    You can really learn more about yourself when you make a mistake. Here is Why You Should Be Proud of Making Mistakes.

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    Mistakes in your life do not always need to be seen negatively. Think about what went wrong, learn from it, and move on.

    10. Strive for What You Want to Accomplish

    Being yourself does not have to mean that you have to be stuck in status quote. Aim for what you want to achieve and strive for that accomplishment. You can improve yourself while still remaining true to yourself.

    More Tips About Staying True to Yourself

    Featured photo credit: Adrien King via unsplash.com

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