When it comes to your emails you don’t have the tone of your voice. But don’t underestimate the fact that those on the other side of the screen will read tone into your email.
Based on the efforts you make. Which includes the words you choose to use and any formatting you integrate. Such as bolding or red text.
Email Tone is a Real Concern
Don’t underestimate tone as something you need to be concerned with. I get emails from site visitors every day about this topic. It is a valid concern.
Tone is set with each and every email you send. Every word you choose to bold, every word you omit or include. You control the tone.
I had several instances over the past week where emails sent to me were downright insulting in tone. How these emailers worded their inquiries clearly indicated what their true intent was.
As well as the level of courtesy and professionalism they were willing to extend. Intent is also relayed in tone. They are intertwined.
Ironically, in many cases when you respond to these type of communications you may receive the response “I didn’t mean it that way”. That’s a cop out.
How to check your tone?
If you are not sure of your tone, or if you are emotional or simply frustrated as you type an email, here’s what you do.
Step away from the computer and take a deep breath. Wait until you’ve had time to clear your head. Here’s where your voice comes into play. That’s the voice the recipient will most likely hear in their head when they red your email.
Upon your return, read your email out loud and see if you would like someone to speak to you in that manner. You may be surprised at what this extra step will expose.
It is understandable that there will be times that you upset or frustrated by how someone emails you. Or if you don’t get the answers you are seeking. Be better than that and not respond in kind.
Tone many times is the difference between typing an extra few words of thanks or not over punctuating or formatting. We are in a hurry or in the heat of the moment.
The worst time to respond to any emails of importance.
Not being face-to-face is not an excuse to be boldly rude or to make demands or accusations you wouldn’t dare do in person. Use email as the communication tool it is meant to be, not some way to flex your ego or narcissistic side of your personality just because you can.
Because when you do — it only reflects on you. And, that’s rarely a good thing.
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