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I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Email content is factual

Over the weekend I attended the second weekend of a training course. One session was on communications as part of relationships, and the instructor said something that stuck in my mind.

He said “emails are for facts, never emotions”.

So, you can write an email “We will meet at 5 pm” or “Please write me a promotional article on woggles.” And it is ok to write something like “I am upset – can we please talk about it?”

young man on a phone in front of his laptop outside.

Using the phone is often better than email for emotional issues

No emotions in emails?

I had never thought of it quite that way, but it is a good point. What you write can be misinterpreted, especially when emotions are involved, which can cause more problems than you already have. It is also harder to  write clearly when you are feeling emotional so you are more likely to be negative than constructive.

If there is an issue to resolve, it is much better to deal with it face to face or via the phone than in an email. For one thing, tone of voice can impact on the understanding of the message and for another, it is more immediate – there can be delays in replying to each other via emails and that can also add to confusion, misunderstandings and problems.

And don’t think this is just referring to personal relationships. If there is an issue between you and a supplier or customer, grab the phone or arrange a meeting and get the issue resolved.

For a business situation, it isn’t just a matter of smoothing relationships either – it is your business’ reputation and having emotions in writing can be used out of context to your detriment.

So a simple rule to add to your business model – keep emails for facts, not emotions!

Use your words wisely.

 

*Image courtesy of  Frugo at 123rf 

Saying no…

Did you know that you are allowed to say no sometimes? Even to new clients or a long standing client, it is acceptable for you to say no – politely of course!

It is a little silly, but I was reminded of this through the Rat in the Hat! Melissa Khalinsky often uses children’s TV shows to point out business lessons, and in one of her blog posts, she shows how Rat is quite the entrreperuner.

Melissa wrote “Don’t overextend yourself – this is something Rat does often in his quest to meet the needs of everyone on Cuddles Ave. Unfortunately Rat doesn’t know how to say no ” and I had to nod in agreement, both for Rat in a Hat (yes, I’ve watched him, too!) and for many business owners I know.

As a small business owner, it is hard to turn down a client – there’s that little fear that maybe this was the last work request you’d get for 6 months so how can you afford to not do this project? Or maybe it is a fear that saying no will make that person hate you and bad mouth you to other potential clients?

But let’s look at it the other way:

  • if you take on too much work, you will end up doing inferior work for a number of clients, thereby damaging your good reputation
  • if you continue doing too much, you will burn out and really not be able to earn anything for 6 months
  • if one client has found you and asked for a quote, it is likely others can also find you next week and next month
  • a well managed ‘no’ will leave the client feeling positive about you even if you couldn’t do their work – they may try you again another time, or at least tell others you acted professionally
  • do you really think your clients have the time and inclination to bad mouth you just because you couldn’t work for them?

I will cover the various reasons for saying no, and how to say no nicely in the next few blog posts. But for now, just take on the belief that you can say no and the world (or your business!) won’t end!