30 May 2021


“E-mail” was a game changer in the world of communication. Even though, millennials are more engulfed in instant messaging today, email may never become less *prominent*.

Every time I draft one, I seem to read it over and over again before I hit send. For a simple reason, to spare my self from the embarrassment of not adhering to etiquettes and ensure I build a good rapport with the opposite person. This can be achieved by letting them know you’ve understood their sentiment. How many of us, actually think twice before hitting send?

It’s convenient to assume, there are many like me and with them I want to share my thoughts. Writing an email might sound like a trivial task, but it’s not, because when you reply, you reveal a lot about yourself and that’s all the more reason to get it right.

I’m going to put forth a few common scenarios and how one could handle them.

1. For your information – You may have received an FYI from colleagues, where they want to keep you posted about anything. Most of the times, it’s best to leave such emails un-acknowledged but let’s not stereotype. Some sender’s might like to get an acknowledgement too. The dynamics of your relationship with the sender and the context of the email will help you decide whether it warrants a response.

2. Reply OR Reply All – When you want to clarify doubts, have suggestions it’s best to just reply one on one. Reply All is more appropriate if you want everyone to know you’re next action and take the conversation ahead.

3. Should you shuffle the to and cc’s – There is no difference in how your email might appear to “to” and “cc” recipients, then why bother? When reading an email if I find myself marked as “to” (the primary recipient) I automatically know the message is directly meant for me and seeks my attention, whereas when marked as “cc” (carbon copied) it might be more of an informative correspondence. Now that we know the dissimilarity, you can make good decisions on whom to make primary/secondary recipients.

4. Timely response – Even though you might not have a concrete answer or may be swamped to reply to a question posed, it’s good to promptly respond and buy time to get back to them. At times, delayed replies can lead to confusion and make you seem ignorant.

5. Not sure what to write – The internet is loaded with people who might help you or atleast get you started in the right direction, so don’t hesitate to Google it. All of us, may have made silly mistakes while emailing and regretted or joked over it, but that’s all part of making yourself better at it.

So be mindful, take a step back and don’t forget to proof read your draft before you send it. Check if you’ve answered the questions or acknowledged. A good email, will only improve the receivers confidence in you, let alone your own.

And that’s my 2 cents on a soft skill every professional should keep polishing.

Remember you cannot unsend an email :)