Maybe you are in a hurry.
Perhaps you are trying to tell a joke.
Is it possible that you are having a bad day?
None of these things matter to the person on the receiving end of your emails. When communicating by email people can't hear your or see your face so you have to be extremely careful in the way you word things.
I try to always keep a smile on my face when I type emails (especially if I am upset) but sometimes that doesn't cut it and I have to be reminded of some basic email etiquette rules.
Case in point, a recent email I sent in response to something I received:
"I don't know what you are talking about. I am not a tech person."
Now that I look at that, I laugh because I can't believe I wrote it in that manner. At the time I didn't mean anything bad by it, I wasn't trying to be rude. I was simply trying to say that I was confused by the message because I am not an IT person.
But that's not how it reads and I can admit that. It reads more like “You are wasting my time. Go bother someone else.”
I am glad that the person pointed out to me how that could come across to someone who doesn't know me very well.
"People read different things into emails, read your email again and tell me how it sounds".
Here are some tips for jerk-proofing your emails:
- When you type an email put a smile on your face, most of the time it will come through in what you write.
- Before you hit send, read your email aloud.
- Ask yourself, "What would I think if someone sent this email to me?"
- Sarcasm doesn't translate well through email, please keep this in mind. But if you absolutely must use it- make use of the :)