Abrupt emails are bad

Short and sweet emails might be a good practice, but abrupt emails are a bad one. Here’s an example:

Your email: “Hi Fred. I was just thinking about maybe doing XYZ to make things move a little smoother on that project. What do you think?”

Fred’s email: “That’s fine.”

Huh. Is Fred annoyed, you wonder? Does he not care? Is this something I shouldn’t be doing? The most likely answer, of course, is that Fred thought the idea was great, had nothing to add, and was just trying to be succinct. Unfortunately, he instead comes across as abrupt, uncaring, and perhaps a little bit disrespectful.

Email is a terrific medium, but when we get too short and concise, people can read a negative tone. We need to be careful about this. The old adage is true – “It’s not as much what you say as how you say it.”


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