Home Uncategorized Watch Your Tone! How to Stay Safe and Not Offend Others Through Email

Watch Your Tone! How to Stay Safe and Not Offend Others Through Email

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By J. Mason
Online Career Tips Staff

Since you can’t fit into an office with all your co-workers you’ll need to communicate other ways, besides talking. Still #1 for communication purposes in and out of the office is email. You can send from your smartphone, tablet, social media, and of course your work computer. It’s all too easy to hit send without putting any thought into the message. For all you know you just sent out an informative and thoughtful email, but your recipient may be fuming because of your tone. Prepare yourself, and check yourself, when sending out emails to co-workers and clients.

It’s hard to prepare yourself for not offending every type of personality you work with, but there are certain cues you should look for in your email. If you’ve gotten an angry response from time to time then check out my signals below to tone down your messaging.

  • Don’t use excessive exclamation marks; unless you’re saying Happy Birthday!!
  • Turn the CAPS LOCK OFF. Nobody likes being yelled at, and through email it’s considered passive aggressive.
  • Check for typos, and re-read the message. It’s offensive when you spell someone’s name wrong, or get their job roles confused.
  • Don’t curse, ever. Your IT group will always have a record of the email, and even if it was in the heat of the moment someone will remember it.
  • Acknowledge the person copied on the email. It’s a courtesy to briefly relay why you’ve copied someone on your email, especially if it’s the first time the recipient is hearing about it.
  • Avoid passive aggressive emoticons. Putting a smiley 🙂 at the end of something rude feels like you’re being sneered at.

If you’re unsure of your tone, have a friend read the email first. They don’t have to know the back story to be able to pick up on subtle cues. Let email be your friend, not your frenemy. Read and think before you reply!

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