Example A: Reply who?
It’s early. You just got into the office or opened your e-mail inbox. Scan the messages for anything important. Notice a message from your manager. Open it. Boss man is not happy with the reports he received the day before and your manager proceeds to relay the ranting message to all of the team members… you then see another e-mail pop up from a fellow employee… “I wish he would get the stick out of his bum!”
Can we say reply all?
Your eyes widen as you realize this person just sent that message to everyone, including the boss, who was CC’d on the original message. Someone will be fired today, you think….
I don’t know how many people this has happened to, but I’m sure it’s a lot. That cursed reply all button is to blame! Not really. Actually, you shouldn’t be saying anything that would offend someone during work communication in the first place. Just paying attention to which reply button is which the answer isn’t. The answer is simple: don’t say anything you might regret later!
Example B: Typo demons.
Then there’s the case of the never-ending typos. I once worked for someone who would always send me the e-mails she was planning to send to corporate for review/proofreading. She got it right! Professional messages, e-mail or otherwise, should never be riddled with typos and mistakes. It isn’t professional.
So, give it a look-through. Make sure there isn’t a bunch of gibberish in the e-mail message before you send it to the boss!
Example C: Text-speak.
If you’re writing a professional – or even semi-professional – message, then you should definitely keep in mind that filling this message with smileys and LOL’s could be detrimental to your relationship with your boss. After a while, you may develop a relationship where this might even be okay, but even then, keep it to a minimum. And for goodness sake, don’t use ROFLMFAO!!! That’s just rude. Laugh politely, not like you’ve had a six-pack.
Example D: STOP YELLING AT ME!!!
I bet you already know what I’m going to say here.
ESPECIALLY IN A PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT, IT’S IMPERATIVE THAT YOU DO NOT USE ALL CAPS AND YELL YOUR MESSAGE AT PEOPLE. THIS IS THE UNSPOKEN RULE: ALL CAPS = YELLING. SO UNLESS YOU’D LIKE TO YELL YOUR COMPLAINTS AT YOUR BOSS IN REAL LIFE, I STRONGLY SUGGEST KEEPING YOUR TYPING TO A dull roar.
Can’t you just hear someone yelling when you read that? Isn’t that crazy? We may not be able to hear someone’s inflections when we read an e-mail, but it’s definitely clear that someone is yelling or shouting when using all caps. Very annoying. Plus spell check doesn’t work on all caps.
Example F: How did you get inside that computer?
If there’s one thing that will help anyone and everyone remember how to behave online, it’s remembering that there’s another person at the other end. It’s not just a screen… it’s just like other cars aren’t just cars… there are actual drivers in there! What a concept!
Just remember the person you’re talking to. Take into consideration when you proofread your e-mail what might come across as iffy or offensive. If you’re writing to someone like your project manager, then having a bunch of errors could be a big problem.
Like in any aspect of life, be considerate. People are much more likely to respond positively to you if you consider their perspective, too. After all, don’t you expect the same from other people, especially those you work or study with?