All too often otherwise nice folks come off as terse or plain old rude when it comes to their email habits. They don’t intentionally set out to be viewed as rude, well I guess some do, but for the most part I prefer to believe the majority do not.
Are you being viewed as rude? Do your email habits smack of a lack of consideration for the person on other side? Below are the most common oversights I see onliners make on a regular basis that end up leaving a negative perception. If you answer yes to any of the following questions you are most likely being viewed as rude.
- Do you forward emails without comment?
If you cannot take the time to write a comment about why you are forwarding that particular email to that particular person don’t bother forwarding at all — or you’ll be viewed as rude!
- Do you disregard requests from others who ask that you not forward emails to them?
Not everyone wants to receive all those “informative” emails you feel are so important. Especially if you are forwarding without comment or thought by just clicking Send to your entire address book! Just because you can doesn’t mean you do! Honor requests to not forward emails with kindness and understanding. Otherwise, you will be viewed as rude (and narcissistic)!
- Do you send overly large unexpected attachments?
If you cannot take the time to determine file size and ask first when would be the best time to send those unasked for files — you’re probably being viewed as rude!
- Do you send business attachments after business hours?
If you do, you will definitely be viewed as rude if you cause your associate’s inbox to fill and all subsequent email to bounce!
- Do you start every email with a greeting and a closing? Opening with a “Hi” or “Hello” with the recipient’s name and close with a “Sincerely,” “Take Care,” or TTYS and your name?
If you cannot take the time to personally address an email and sign off with courtesy, which can cause you to be perceived as demanding or curt, you’ll be viewed as rude!
- Do you email Web sites for information without searching to see if the information you’re seeking has already been provided for your convenience?
If you cannot take a few moments to search a site and read the information provided, that will reflect that you feel your time is more important than the site owners and you do risk being viewed as rude!
- Do you use multiple !!! or ??? in your emails?
If you do, you will come off as sarcastic and/or condescending — and you’ll be viewed as rude!
- Do you include everyone’s email address in the To: field even if they don’t know each other?
If you do, that is a serious breach of privacy by exposing your contact’s email addresses to strangers and you will definitely be viewed as rude!
- Do you add the email address of new contacts, newsletters you’ve subscribed to or Web sites you receive email from to your approved or white list?
If not, your spam filters or your ISPs filtering program will return emails or ask for confirmation. If you initiated the request, add their email address to make communicating with you easy. If due to not taking this step you complain about not receiving emails — yep, you’ll be viewed as rude!
It is very easy to avoid being viewed as rude by taking the time to have courtesy for the people you are communicating with. All too often folks think only of themselves and what they want to do at any given moment regardless of how it will be perceived or affect the person on the other side. Good manners never go out of style and that applies to email activities as well.
make them good; the very perfection of manners is not to think about yourself."
– Richard Whately