It has come to my attention, on more than one occasion, that my email communications are pointed. My professional writing style is often described as “masculine”, a confounding critique to say the least. I sound like a dude?
Nah, my colleagues are picking up on the confident tone of a well-written email. But I did try to tone my ‘masculinity’ down a bit in the past year.
And, in trying to make my emails a bit more personable, I fell into some pretty terrible habits.
I came across an article in the Muse about five words not to use in email because they make you sound less confident. Among them: just, hopefully, actually, kind of, and sorry. Sound familiar? Ugh – I get this sinking feeling when I reflect on the times I tried to downplay a follow-up email with “just following up”, or “hopefully this will be complete by…”, both of which make me sound flaky.
The key to writing great emails is to communicate your idea effectively. It’s not about making people feel as though they have an upper hand. Just say what you need to say and wrap it up. If you end up sounding confident from a lack of downplaying your message, then all the better!