Become a Brilliant Communicator, Part 2 of 5: Excel at Email

Last week, GovLoop and YGL hosted a half day training event for up and coming government leaders, who heard from experts on the topics of career management, leadership, communications, and more. One of the sessions, titled “Become a Brilliant Communicator” provided tips on communicating via email and telephone, giving and receiving feedback, and holding successful meetings. Today’s post provides tips to help you excel at email.

As technology advances, methods of communication change. More people are communicating via texts and tweets, often using less formal language than that used in traditional forms of communication. Issues can arise if that informal language finds its way into workplace communications. Incorrect grammar, shortened or misspelled words, and incomplete sentences can make a negative impression on co-workers, bosses, clients and customers (the public), which leads to our first tip – remember that your email represents your agency. The last thing you want to do is endanger your agency’s reputation by using informal language in an email.

You won’t nec
essarily know how someone on the receiving end of your email feels about the use of informal language, so it’s best to start formal, then react to the respondent’s tone. You can always switch it up and be more informal once you see what sort of language they use in their response to your email. In addition, if you’re sending emails from a mobile device, be sure to leave the “Sent from iPhone/Blackberry” message at the end of the email.

Increase professionalism (and astound the email recipient with your productivity) by not sending emails after work hours, and scheduling them instead. Gmail users can install a program called Boomerang to schedule emails; I recently used the program to auto-send a job application that I finished over the weekend on Monday morning, and it worked perfectly. Finally, a tip to help you maintain your sanity and productivity – take a break from email, and only check it at certain intervals. This is easier said than done for many of us, but there are tools out there to help.

We’ve provided you with a few tips to help you excel at email. What would you change or add to our list?

Become a Brilliant Communicator Blog Series:

Part 1: Become a Brilliant Communicator

Part 2: Excel at Email

Part 3: Transform Your Telephone Calls

Part 4: Improve How You Take and Receive Criticism

Part 5: Stop Wasting Time in Meetings

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