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Email & Baseball Bats

Email is both the best and worst tool used by office professionals.  Love or hate it, it’s safe to say its here to stay; and therefore its a skill that is worth our attention. The problem is that most people stop improving their email acumen once they become merely “competent”, and I argue that there is much to be gained by pushing beyond competency to mastery. 

Skill #1: Mastering Perception.  “People don’t remember what you say or do, they remember how you make them feel” – Maya Angelou

Key and Peele do a perfect skit on what happens when you are tone def on both sides of the conversation:

There is insight here. Perception is both understanding how you will be perceived (writing well) and working to perceive things the right way (reading well).

Do either of these poorly and you’re in for a significant amount of unneeded pain & negative energy.

To do:

  1. Spend an extra 10 seconds and ask “how does this sound”?  How will they feel once they read their email?  If its negative, is it worth it?
  2. Try to assume people mean well.  Too often we take things the wrong way; right or wrong it doesn’t help.  Sometimes its better to be ignorant and happy instead of pissed-off and correct. 

There is a million layers of nuance here, with infinite types of stylistic differences.  However, it is factual that leaving good impressions and not taking things the wrong way will make you better at what you do and be helpful in your career.

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