The higher your climb up the professional ladder in terms of seniority, the more important it is to be cognizant of your image in the workplace. Beyond the results you produce, colleagues and those at a more senior level form their impression of you according to how you present yourself – particularly through your communication style. With email being a preferred mode of communication in most workplaces, it’s essential to follow proper email etiquette. Avoid these common email faux pas that are making you look unprofessional.
Not Considering Tone
When you’re communicating with just text, a lot can be left to interpretation since there’s no voice or facial expressions to help the other person infer your meaning. That means when you think you’re being short and to the point, it could be seen as curt or even rude. It only takes a few extra seconds to type in some niceties to establish tone, and it’s well worth the effort to preserve professional relationships.
Sending to Unnecessary Recipients
Being trigger happy with the “Reply All” or not being selective when CC’ing can result in you wasting other people’s time with emails that don’t directly pertain to them. Since most professionals get more than their fair share of emails to sort through, it may reflect poorly on you by making it seem like you don’t respect others’ time or aren’t perceptive enough to realize who to include. Think carefully about who really needs to see your emails, and who can be updated as necessary in a different form.
Using Text Language
Just because you’re not face-to-face doesn’t mean that professionalism in your communication style isn’t just as necessary. Abbreviations, emojis, or other text language can cause people to not take you seriously, particularly if it’s one of your first interactions with the person. Take the other person’s lead and adapt your level of formality accordingly.
Mistakes do happen, and the occasional typo or forgotten attachment likely won’t cause people to judge your professionalism. However, if it happens even semi-regularly, it can reflect poorly on your abilities and make them less trustworthy of your skills.
Substituting for In-Person Contact
Some things just can’t be taken care of via email and if you avoid taking issues offline, it can damage your professional reputation. Criticism, feedback, or in-depth discussions should not be used as a substitution for in-person contact because they are too personal, time-consuming, and open for misinterpretation. Opting for email can make you come across as not taking the situation seriously or simply not caring.
Email etiquette may place a small role in your reputation as a manager, but the major influential factor is the performance of your workers. Find top talent to join your team by turning to the RPC Company. Since 2002, we have been providing temporary and direct placement staffing solutions to Dallas/Fort Worth area employers. Contact RPC Company to learn more.