"A Fundamental Key": Adaptation
E-mails and chats are inevitably open to interpretation. That's why it's highly recommended to use a fundamental key to reduce this potential negative perception in your recipient: adapting to the other person's writing.
Being a chameleon will help you stand out from the crowd and, above all, will make it easier for your reader to understand your message.
Explanation: Most senders write their communications in their own style, without regard to how their receivers write. For some of you, this may seem like a no-brainer, as you already tailor your messages to the recipient intuitively. That said, the idea is to do this consciously and, more importantly, consistently.
Some elements to modulate in your communications
There are several elements that you can modulate depending on your recipient: its formal or informal nature, the use of paragraphs or bullets, the introduction and conclusion, etc.
For example, if the recipient calls you by your first name, you can do the same with theirs. If they are on first-name terms, the same principle applies. If they use emoticons, you can use this means of expression. This will create a connection with that person and will achieve the desired result most of the time. That said, even when the contact is already well established, it is not advisable to abuse emoticons in your professional communications.
When in doubt, it is better to be more formal than informal. Also, if you want to keep a certain distance, for example during a negotiation or an unwanted flirtation, using your last name, being polite and avoiding emoticons can be winning tactics!
Some examples of adaptation
If the introduction of your interlocutor's email is: "Hello Mr. Tremblay," we suggest that you respond in the same way, i.e. "Good afternoon Mrs. Johnson. However, if the person starts the conversation with "Hi Justin," best practices suggest responding with "Hi Patricia.
The closing statement should be positive, open and appropriate. For example, if the sender writes "Have a good weekend", you could reply "If you have any questions, please contact me. Have a good weekend too, Ms. Laferrière.
If you are writing an email to someone for the first time, we suggest a formal approach and that you are polite. Once you have received an initial response from your recipient, you will be able to adapt to their writing style.
When dealing with a sensitive but non-urgent situation, it is recommended that you delay sending a response for a few minutes, a few hours, or even the next day in some cases, as night often brings advice. Save your email in your draft folder and proofread it, paying particular attention to tone and word choice before sending.
Chat is a word formed from the words keyboard and chat. Therefore, it is extremely important to systematically proofread each message before sending it, as the conversation is interactive and in real time.
Words fly away, writings stay and e-mails and chats are indestructible!
E-mails and chats are great means of communication that play key roles in relationships with your clients, colleagues and business partners. However, beware of their accessibility and immediacy. If they are written lightly, nonchalantly, or on the spur of the moment, they can easily become bombshells and seriously damage your relationships.
Therefore, it's best to be aware of their hazards and weigh the weight of your words before you hit "send". In order to optimize your written communications, it's a good idea to follow recognized best practices in the field. Not only will they allow you to get the response you want, but they will ensure that you leave a positive impression on your recipient.
If you want to improve your email and chat writing, I invite you to sign up for one of my upcoming public interactive workshops.
Using the 50 best practices explained in this training, you will be asked to write and improve emails and chat exchanges that you have received in the course of your work.
Some of the key topics covered include:
- How to deliver bad news tactfully;
- The use of positive vs. negative words;
- Message structure;
- How to follow up effectively;
- How to get what you want quickly.
We look forward to guiding you in optimizing your written communications on a daily basis,
Learn more about this course:Business writing: optimizing email and chat communications
To learn more about our new services or to talk to us about your skills development needs, contact Cyrielle Renard at 514-380-8237 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.