Email is an important tool for anyone in a leadership role. It can be a very effective communication tool, but only when you know how to use it properly. People get a ton of email every day, and a big reason why is that it is often misused. Knowing when and how to use email can help you lead your team more efficiently. Here are five email tips for effective leadership.
Subjects and your subject line
Your subject line is crucial to getting your message across efficiently. A good subject line will get your message opened right away, while an unclear one may result in a delay. Sure, you’re the boss and it probably won’t take too long for a response, but a confusing subject line might push it back behind a few other tasks. Try and make your subject as specific as possible. “Always keep it to one subject per email. Your recipient should be able to respond to one thing and then move on. Avoid tacking on extra topics, because your recipient may not be able to get to them all and forget once your email starts moving further down their inbox list,” recommends Eula Spivey, communication manager at Eliteassignmenthelp and Ukwritings.
Responding to emails
Effective leadership includes how you respond to emails, as well as the way you send them. It’s important to respond to emails. Just because you’re their boss, it doesn’t mean you can ignore them when you feel like it. Put yourself in their shoes; how would you feel? It’s polite to respond within twenty-four hours. Sometimes you can’t give the person a complete answer in that timeframe, but you can still send them a message to let them know you are working on it. Remember that credibility is crucial to good leadership, so if you say you are going to do something, it’s important that you deliver.
Select your words carefully
When you write something in an email, you don’t have the benefit of tone of voice, expression, and body language. It can be very easy to say something that is taken the wrong way and that was not your intention. It’s important to keep this in mind and choose your words carefully when you write an email. Different people will interpret words in different ways, and you won’t be standing there to realize the misunderstanding and correct it. When you write, imagine the person is standing in front of you. Write as if you are speaking to that specific person in a professional context.
Keep things relatively simple and brief
A lot of people write emails that are much too long, and this is not helpful. You might think you are helping the person by giving them more information or solving two problems at once. But really you are complicating things and possibly confusing your message. Try and break down what you need to say into the fewest words possible. By doing this you make your message clearer and it will be easy for the recipient to see what is most important. Don’t bury your main point under a bunch of unnecessary details and jargon. Say what needs to be said in less than half a page. Try and keep your questions to one or two. If you really need more answers, then it is probably time to just pick up the phone and have a conversation with that person.
Take advantage of email formatting and editing tools
The impact of your emails can be seriously hampered if they contain errors. Don’t compromise your leadership by sending out emails that contain typos and other mistakes. Here are some tools that can help you:
- Study demic and Viawriting – A lot of people struggle with properly formatting their emails, but these resources can help. Nobody likes struggling with format issues, so why not get some help from the professionals?
- Bigassignments – Try out this email editing tool, which has been mentioned at Bestaustralianwriters, and see how much more polished your emails become. Email is all about effective communication, don’t let bad editing compromise your leadership.
- MyWritingWay and Academ Advisor – Grammar is something that confuses many people; there are a ton of rules to keep up on. These resources can provide you with tips as well as check over your writing for grammar mistakes.
- Stateofwriting and Oxessays – Check out these business writing tools. They are geared specifically for all types of writing related to the business world, and that includes emails.
Email can be a very useful tool for a leader, but it can also harm your ability to lead your people, and even get you into trouble. It’s important to know when to send an email, and when to have an actual conversation. Your emails should be brief, focused, clear, professionally worded, and properly edited. Follow these five email tips for effective leadership.
About the Author: