One issue that business owners and executive management occasionally encounter is unprofessional emails. We’ve seen emails on broadcast news programs that are highly inflammatory, which were leaked or, in some cases, hacked then leaked. Sometimes such emails are unavoidable; other times, you wish you had not sent them at all!
Avoiding unprofessional emails
In order to avoid regretting a poorly fashioned or insensitive email, I approach my emails as I previously approached writing brief notes and letters. I include a salutation, an introduction, the body, and a summary. Sometimes this is only a couple of lines and sometimes it’s a longer synopsis. I always re-read and proof my emails before I send them! If I am peeved or irritated, I’ll write the email, but I will wait a few hours or even a day until I feel much calmer, then I will re-read and proof the email. I highly recommend that everyone do this and I demand that those who work for me do this.
Email is impersonal
Email can be highly impersonal. Therefore, sometimes irritation or annoyance can come across much stronger than it would in a more formal business letter or on the phone. To me, there is simply no excuse for being an ass in an email! Finally, I only cc those that are necessary. There is no need to clog up everyone’s email box with replies that have very little, if anything, to do with them.
My motto is: Anything you leave on voicemail or send by mail or digitally can be permanent. You know how you want to represent yourself, so do so.
Haste can lead to problems
One last comment: I typically respond to emails twice per day. People don’t expect me to jump. If they really need me, they call me on my mobile. Sometimes people fire off emails in haste. Haste can lead to poorly written or otherwise unprofessional emails. If you need to buy time, thank the sender and let him/her know when you’ll respond.