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Choose your Words Wisely

How many times have you sent an email to a client, potential employer, or colleague that opened with “hope you’re doing well” or “hope you had a nice weekend”, and then quickly got to your point? By now, most of us are aware of proper email etiquette (like avoiding the “Reply All” function at all costs), but we forget that there’s a person at the other side of our emails. We tend to act like robots behind the computer.

Here’s the thing: we’re in the relationship business. And more than that, a significant number of the emails we send every day involve asking for something—be it from a coworker or a journalist. So we owe it to ourselves to make certain the person on the other end feels like we value the relationship. Take a second and ask about their weekend. Heck, if you follow them on Twitter or Instagram, ask about their kid’s 2nd birthday party or even talk some smack about a football rivalry (assuming you know them well enough that making comments about their Instagram feed wouldn’t be creepy. Don’t be creepy.)

“Remember: Emails are just text and lack the richness of the human voice that you get in a phone call or the wealth of body language and eye contact that you get face to face. All the other person has to go from is your words. So let’s learn to choose them a little more wisely.”

So drop the clichés and sound like a human. And while you’re at it, avoid some of these other phrases: http://www.fastcompany.com/3016932/leadership-now/5-phrases-you-should-never-use-in-an-email

Let’s go ahead and add “Regards” to that list.

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