Have you noticed that you spend quite some time reading through and responding to emails every day? In writing and responding to emails, work related and such, you want to sound confident and professional always. Bearing this in mind, there are words which, rather than do this, make you sound less confident and unprofessional in emails. They weaken the message you are passing across and sometimes prevent you from getting the right response you need and want to here. Eliminate them from your vocabulary.
Including “just” in your email downplays the importance of the task being discussed. Saying you “ “just” want to say hi”, makes it seem like you don’t care about the person or the person was an afterthought. Same goes for whatever task you are referring to in your email. “Just” implies that it isn’t important, shouldn’t be prioritized neither does it require any significant skill, time or attention. Other words like “just” are “only” and “simply”- limit their use. In fact, take it out of your vocabulary completely.
“Probably” implies uncertainty. If you are hesitant about something, provide a more realistic altern2trative.
e.g., I can probably meet you up for lunch so we can discuss the details of the contract
Instead use: I’ll meet you up for lunch to discuss the details of the contract.
You tell people that you are not confident in your abilities. It is a lazy way of not taking responsibility or committing yourself to carrying out a task through to the end. It also says, you are neither here nor there and that there is a huge possibility you won’t do being asked of you. Use “I will” instead.
e.g., I’ll try to come by your office to discuss the fine print
Instead: I’ll come to your office to discuss the fine print. Any questions for me?
Read: I’ll Try Vs I Will
Nothing shouts “dismissal” of whatever you have to say as much as I “think”. It gives people license to dismiss what you are about to say. Be confident in the validity of your recommendation.
E.g. I think we should run a diagnostic test on that car.
instead: let’s run a diagnostic test on that car sounds better and shows that you are sure of yourself and thoughts.
Sounds dismissive, and implies a lack of concern for accuracy. The same way “whatever” sounds when someone say a friend, tells you something important and you dismiss his/her thoughts with a “whatever”, is the same way it sounds in an email.
E.g. the supervisor said something. I’ll consider whatever she said.
Instead: The supervisor said something about my work being tacky this time around. I’ll work into it again.
Maybe” makes you sound uncertain and apprehensive.
E.g. We could maybe send a proposal to Chief Ali’s conglomerate tomorrow.
Instead: Let’s send a proposal to Chief Ali’s conglomerate tomorrow. Things sure will look brighter then.
Some of you have gotten so used to saying “sorry” even when you are not apologizing for something wrong you did. Something as simple as “excuse me, please” is usually replaced with “sorry” in everyday situations. This creeps into our emails to sometimes- using them inappropriately. Most times they are unnecessary and diminishes the value of your voice. Make statements and ask for what you need without apologizing first.
E.g. I’m sorry can you do 3 pm next Thursday? We are completely swamped at work right now.
Instead: Can you do 3 pm next Thursday, please? We are completely swamped at work right now.
Eliminate these and you are sure on the way to sounding more confident and professional in your emails. Do you agree with the above list? Do you have other opinions? Please share in the comments section.