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December 9, 2019

Biggest Email Abuses and Bad Habits


I’m working hard with both my young daughters to teach them good manners. I believe it’s a critical life skill and think the world would be a better place with a little more “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me,” among other phrases that portray kindness and an understanding and appreciation of others.

When it comes to email in the workplace, I think we could use some better manners, too (and not just with email, but don’t get me started!).  

My List of 9 Email Abuses and Bad Habits

Are you guilty of any of these?

  1. Selecting email as the wrong form of communication – should your message be communicated face-to-face? Voice-to-voice?
  2. Poorly written email – beyond misspelled words and poor grammar, does your email get to the point?
  3. Sending irrelevant information – is the information pertinent to your recipient? Do they really need to read your message?
  4. Engaging in too much back and forth when a phone call would solve the issue – research shows conflict escalates quicker and last longer over email
  5. Hiding behind email for tough conversations
  6. No call-to-action – why are you emailing? What is it you are asking the recipient to do?
  7. Using “reply all” – not everyone needs to see your one-off response, and it’s rare that everyone needs to be copied on your email response
  8. Cc’ing unnecessarily – not everyone needs to see the message
  9. Saying something in email you wouldn’t want to read in the newspaper – email lasts forever; don’t let your frustration or poor choice of words come back to bite you down the road

As you read the list, which one or two abuses are you guilty of that you’d like to remedy?

—David Grossman

Click below to download the free tip sheet—10 Dos and Don'ts of Email. Armed with these 10 tips, you’ll be able to spend more time focusing on other important aspects of your job and less time getting bogged down in unnecessary emails.
Click to download the free Dos and Don'ts of Email tip sheet

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