We are living in crazy times. And with that comes less patience, more stress and more folks lashing out. Now is when that extra little effort, respect and courtesy is what we all need.
With this post I hope to help everyone think about how their communications can impact others. In both good and sadly, sometimes, harmful ways.
Too many use a presumptuous informal tone in their emails. They communicate as though they know what the other side means or is thinking. In many cases this can’t be further from the truth.
We need to pay attention to detail. How we address others and by using proper grammar and sentence structure to avoid misunderstandings.
We need to make sure our tone and intent is super clear. We don’t want to appear unconcerned or disinterested. Those details, when paid attention to, can cause a different response or reaction. A positive one.
Yes, with those you know very well, you can probably get away with whipping off emails with no courtesy or decorum. You can also be as informal or grumpy as you like (but I bet they wouldn’t mind if you took the time and made the effort to be pleasant anyway).
A Little Courtesy Goes a Long Way
For all other email with those you don’t know very well, or at all, a little courtesy can make a huge difference. None of us know what others are going through or struggling with. Never assume or surmise.
Whether you are emailing directly or through website inquiry forms, forums and groups. Courtesy and pleasantries are not venue specific.
Putting forth the effort to add a dash of courtesy and proper communication skills shows you respect the person on the other side. You appear to be someone that should be taken seriously who understands that email is not a one-way street.
When Times are Tough
Stressful, difficult, uncertain. Every T.V. commercial reminds us what we are going through. We get it.
But times like these are when courtesy and respect can make all the difference in the world. In how we communicate and how we acknowledge what others are going through.
When you email a website with questions or for assistance, and you ramble on without any of the basics or are too informal, your inquiry may not be taken as genuine. If you email with demands or accusations, you risk not receiving a response at all.
When you don’t take the time to show respect for the other side’s time by communicating properly; why should they take some of their valuable time to respond? Many folks won’t. They have more important things to worry about.
Sadly, more and more, I am not responding. Believe me that is so not me. Increasingly I find that I don’t have anything constructive to say about the anger sent my way.
Almost every day, through one of my sites, I get an unhinged email from someone I know is not happy. It’s not my fault nor do I take it personally. I feel bad for them because I know life is not easy for many folks right now.
But there are times, where the email is so off the charts that there is nothing I can say. To be sympathetic would seem as though I was humoring them. To explain or try and defend their claims would fall on deaf ears. So I don’t.
When I have no choice and have to respond, I communicate with the courtesy and concern they didn’t offer me. And I sincerely wish them the best. Because I mean it. I can’t image what it is like to be so upset and angry that you lash out at strangers.
Set the Tone and Open the Door
When emailing a group or new contacts that don’t know you very well be on your best behavior. Reflect humility and kindness. If you cannot relate to what’s being said, sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all.
The last thing you want to do is leave a negative impression, reflect a lack of sincerity or knowledge about the topic at hand. Or make it seem like other’s experiences and emotions are not valid or understandable.
Everyone’s experiences right now, while similar, are very personal and therefore different. Keep that in mind at all times. Always give the benefit of the doubt.
Let them know they are worth the effort and your concern. By taking the time and making the effort to show concern and be respectful, beyond what you need at the moment, puts you strongly into a positive light. Especially with those who have yet to learn what a great person you really are.