• Westwood International

How to Write Concise and Thoughtful Emails

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

Let’s eliminate misunderstandings and miscommunication with coworkers. Emails should be no more than three sentences, so how do you get your point across in such a small window without sounding curt or rude? A well-crafted email motivates, inspires, and can realign teams. So, let's learn how to do it right.

Cut to The Chase Be clear in the subject line and the first sentence. Let the recipient know you respect their time by cutting right to the chase. "Good morning! I know you have a lot to work on your plate, so I'll cut right to the point..."

Use Their Name

It may feel formal in the beginning but get in a routine of saying "Hi ___ (name)," or "Good morning, ____ (name)" at the start of every email. Set the tone that you have taken the time to personally connect with them instead of jumping right into what you need from them. With that in mind, don’t shorten the recipient’s name (ex: Michael to Mike) unless they have signed off on a previous email that way or have asked you to do so.

Be Clear About Expectations and Outcomes

Focus on one to two deliverables per email. Try highlighting the main things to remember, key takeaways, and what you need in response to the message. Once you make these clear, let them know that you are excited to hear back by a specific date or time and that their response helps things move forward. You are then creating a clear and positive path to project completion with little to no room for confusion.

Avoid Open-Ended Questions

When looking to move something forward, avoid using open-ended questions to invite a wordy response. Instead, tell the team that you are excited to finalize this project and would love to get the red or green light to proceed, and no answer means you're good to go! Invite email recipients to schedule a phone call if they are unclear about the process or have any questions.

When your hybrid or remote team relies heavily on email correspondence, keeping things positive and direct can facilitate a streamlined workflow and reduce confusion.

Want to learn more effective ways to improve your e-communication? Click here.

Be Well. Lead Well.

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