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About this Professional Email Book
Professional emails are too important to mess up.
They are evidence of something that you said or did, and as such, they can be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Every day, a staggering amount of business communication takes place. This book will help you not only write more professional business e-mails but also improve your overall business English.
"Know your context as well as your audience."
Like everything in life, emails are not created equal. The same email can be digital gold or digital poop depending on the situation in which it's deployed, so you must always pay attention to context.
Even if you send exactly the same email to the same audience, in a different context they will interpret your email differently, as they will approach it with a different mind-frame, together with a different set of beliefs and expectations.
When you approach an email in a business setting, the first thing to do is to decide exactly what you want from the exchange and then, what context you are writing in.
- Is this a close colleague but there is a not-so close colleague included into the email exchange?
- Is this an invitation to have drinks after work with someone who has worked with you for years and has suddenly decided to change paths in their career?
- Are you about to fire someone you respect immensely?
- Are you sending a group email to organise a meeting, or are you asking someone to pay you because they haven't paid their invoice on time again?
All these things matter, and are particularly important because you don't have the benefit of body language or facial expressions when you write. People also tend to forget verbal exchanges more readily, but the written word is powerful.
"The pen is "mightier than the sword..." (Edward Bulwer-Lytton) and people will judge you based on how you use your pen.
I could not possibly list all the people who have influenced me through their work, but I will try to mention a few of the ones who spring to mind in no particular order. These are my business heroes, and without their contribution through their work, I would never have been able to write this book.
If I could write a note of advice about emails and business communication to 25-year old me, I would probably send myself the following checklist. I wish someone had told me all this.
1. Forget your ego. Never write with the objective of impressing someone, even if that someone is you Sometimes we write and then re-read what we have written a few times, then we give ourselves a mental round of applause before sending it. The problem is, our priority wasn't communication in this scenario, it was to feed our ego. Trying to impress people with long over-complicated sentences and words has the opposite effect. Always keep clear communication and context in mind in every exchange.
2. Aim to explain difficult concepts or problems in a simple easy-to-understand way. This shows intelligence, because it means you have digested the concepts and are skilful enough to explain them. When you make concepts sound more complicated than they are, it gives people the impression that you don't understand, because you probably don t.
3. If it's not relevant to the situation or the decision being made, don't mention it, it will clutter your communication and could cause confusion. 4. When you need to write important or sensitive emails, stick to the facts. Your emotions or opinions are not important or relevant in most cases.
BUSINESS EMAIL: WRITE TO WIN. Business English & Professional Email Writing Essentials: How to Write Emails for Work, Including 100+ Business Email Templates