Email Writing Tips 11 – Not too Strong

Some people may take their coffee overly strong, but no one likes their email that way. In fact, overly strong emails are one of the world’s leading causes of slow or no cooperation. So, use a softer tone with those in more senior positions (e.g. asking your boss for a day off); and with those more difficult, unusual or unexpected requests (e.g. requesting weekend help on a project from your colleague). As you peek over the cubicle and ask your friend for help, you can soften the message with your winning smile and sugary sweet voice; but with email you are not afforded this luxury. So, in ‘tone sensitive’ cases try:
• Switching to questions (Could you revise …?) rather than non-questions (Please revise …)
• Attaching ‘softeners’ to your requests (e.g. Sorry for the rush, but …; I know this is difficult, however …)
• Changing the subject from ‘you’ to ‘we’ (You need to send it by … vs. We need to receive it by …)
• Adding reasons which are a sign of respect (The reason is our client is waiting)
If you are not too strong, you may just get that day off from your boss … and help on that weekend project.