Three Common Email Communication Errors

Have you ever received an email and quickly responded? You hit the send button and marked that task off the list. You may have just made one of the three common email communication errors listed below.

I have and then watched the fallout occur.

Frustration, anxiety, hurt feelings and broken trust can be a result of not thinking through our communication.

I think of myself as an excellent written communicator. Honing this skill took many hours of practice. I have been known to write a rough draft of an email, let it stew for a while and then triple edit it before hitting the send button.

Common Email Communication Errors

Three Common Email Communication ErrorsDon’t Read the Email

One common email communication mistake is not reading the email. We often preview the email, glance over the contents and then respond. We don’t take the time to listen to the tone.

The solution is to manage your email time. Instead of keeping your email open all day, set aside 30 minutes at the beginning of the day, mid-day and end of the day. Close everything else and concentrate on this one task. Now take the time to read each email in context. Have follow-up emails been sent? Do you understand the big picture? Now you can formulate a concise and informed response.

If you have a large volume of email, you can set up filters. Make sure that only direct communication is left. I have set rules in Outlook. Each topic has a folder; banking, receipts, newsletters, forums, etc.

If you are still overwhelmed, it is time to hire an assistant.

Respond All

The second common email communication mistake is not paying attention to who is receiving a response.

If you want to get on my communication wrong side, send an email out with an open email address list. You know where someone has just copied in everyone’s email address and sent out a blanket email. So frustrating!

The solution is to pay attention to the send list. Just because Joey has cc’d everyone in the organization, everyone in the organization may not need to see your response.

Make sure you use the bcc field. Email addresses are considered personal data under GDPR. Even business addresses that contain a name and place of employment.

Respond in Haste

The third common email mistake is responding off the cuff. This week I wrote an email to a client who appeared stressed. In our next phone call, he was puzzled over my words “take a deep breath.”

Oops, I had perceived his communication to me as stress.

Have you ever responded angrily to an email and then later realized you over-reacted? You are embarrassed and the other person confused. (Double embarrassment if you do it and hit “Reply to All.”)

The solution is to take your time when responding. Maybe it would be good to write it all down in a notepad and then mull it over. Give it 4 hours, 8 hours and preferably 24 hours. One question I always ask myself; “Do I need to respond to this immediately?”

With some planning and designated time, you can avoid the three common email communication errors of not thoroughly reading an email, checking who you are sending it to or responding hastily.

What email communication errors have you made? Email me at [email protected] and share it with me.