Ways that you might be offending someone in an email without realising it.

Ways that you might be offending someone in an email without realising it.

Without question, email is essential to our existence. Although applicable, it can also turn into a minefield of misunderstandings.


When the additional clues of facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice are removed, your words may wind up being understood in a way that is different from how you intended. And when this occurs, you risk upsetting people or destroying relationships.


For some helpful advice on email etiquette, continue reading.

Don’t forget the pleasantries.

Addressing someone and expressing gratitude signify respect and the beginning of a strong working relationship. When meeting someone in person, you always greet them with a pleasantry, so why not do the same when emailing?


It’s important to address people by name and express gratitude to establish rapport and a positive working connection.


Adding ‘Urgent’ in a subject line.

Sending an email with the word “urgent” in the subject line might not always be the best method to get assistance from others, even if the situation is genuinely urgent. This could be perceived as making an outright demand rather than a request, and it’s one method to rile up your coworkers.


Think about whether a face-to-face catch-up might be more appropriate than emailing. “If something is essential and you’re trying to convince someone to put what you want first, you need to be able to influence and persuade them. This is challenging through email because people find it simple to ignore an email. It is far more challenging to say no to someone face-to-face or on the phone.


Emails that say ‘thanks in advance’.

Even though you may believe you’re being courteous, emailing your appreciation in advance can have the opposite effect. The email recipient might assume you rely on them to comply and fulfil your demands. Always make sure you ask someone for assistance before expecting them to agree to do so.


Minimise copying other people into your email unless necessary.

Generally speaking, only copy someone in if they need to be informed of a problem, and there is an action item for them, someone on their team, or they are the project owner. The person receiving the email may feel like you include everyone so that you have many witnesses and are trying to escalate the matter.

Make sure the material you are copying into has some worth because people’s inboxes are already overloaded.


Keep it sweet and simple.

Try and communicate efficiently with others without overloading them with too much information. Your email should be about what you are trying to communicate and what the person receiving the email need to know.


Emails with poor grammar.

Proofread your emails to ensure they are polished and show that you took the time to write them. When you push send on an email with grammatical errors, it sends the wrong message to the recipient and displays a lack of professionalism and attention.