Do you sometimes feel annoyed while answering emails? You don’t want to make the effort; you feel like you’re wasting your time or have another 150 emails to reply to.
Friends, this is a toxic predisposition. The email you send to your American partner or your client in Japan may be the only way they build their image of you. Your words are what you are. Your language will determine how this person feels about you. And how people feel about you plays a huge role if they want to work with you or not. It’s worth mentioning that business correspondence is also the face of your organization.
Here are three tips on how to significantly improve your correspondence without any effort or skill. It won’t take any additional chunk of your time, and if you incorporate these habits into your writing, you’ll improve your performance dramatically.
1. Read your email out loud.
Yes, it’s that simple. And it’s the most important hack! The way we think and the way we speak are fundamentally different. Sometimes what sounds natural to the thought does not sound right in a written form. Also, when you read your email out loud, all the technical errors will pop up. Those little mistakes we make when we are in a hurry will automatically reveal themselves. The benefits don’t stop there. A careful reading out loud will show you when something is unclear. And what’s number ONE priority in business communication: CLARITY.
2. Think about who you are talking to and why.
Think consciously about who you are addressing and why. The mere thought will mechanically help you determine the tone and voice of the message. It will give you the direction and mood that are crucial in any correspondence.
3. Do not revise anything before you have written your first draft. (And never, I repeat – never send an email that you wrote in one breath and didn’t read AT LEAST once before you hit send).
Had this happened to you: you start an email and then delete it, you start – delete again, and keep counting. Or vice versa: you’ve written something and hit send immediately, and when you come back to it, you bang your head how many mistakes there are and how unpolished it sounds.
Here’s the most effective process: First, we write the draft without any revision; we let it flow. Then we edit. This will save you time and make the process much less painful.