Your digital footprint is not just an extension of your offline persona, it is a highly visible aspect of your communication skills.
Most leaders these days know that they have to pay special attention to what they post to Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.
They realize the importance of thinking before they text, and of choosing their words carefully when speaking on behalf of their organization.
But you’d be surprised by how many of these thoughtful executives forget that email etiquette still counts.
We are so used to shooting off instant electronic responses that it can be easy to overlook the tone, style, and extra implications that our emails convey. So it never hurts to refresh your awareness of the unwritten rules of written executive presence!
Is Your Tone Inspiring?
The tone conveyed in your email correspondence carries tremendous weight with your team. Do you always proofread what you’ve said “between the lines” before hitting “send,” to ensure that what they read in your unwritten tone and style will come across in a positive way that inspires performance?
How’s Your Time Management?
Send an email that’s too wordy to a client, partner, or higher-up in your organization and they may think that your communication style is a waste of their time and yours. Be economical with words. Use just enough of the right ones to clearly get your message across, but not a syllable more.
Do You Look the Part?
When is the last time you sent an email to yourself and analyzed the format, font, and automated add-ons like your name, title, and contact information? Do that from time to time to be sure that the look and feel of your written communication matches your executive presence and brand.
Are You Detail Oriented?
If you run a “spell check” and then hit send, you may be taking shortcuts that can short-circuit your career. At this rarified level you need to have an executive-level mastery of language.
Don’t just rely on ordinary software to catch your spelling mistakes or choose the write grammar, because it won’t.
If you aren’t fully confident in your communications capabilities and grasp of the nuances of language then take a class or consider hiring a professional writer as a coach to help refine and polish the style you use for ordinary communications, speeches, and reports.
Executive presence includes being detail oriented, looking the part, managing your time, and inspiring others. All of those key characteristics are immediately visible to anyone who reads your emails. So make written communication a potent tool that elevates your career instead of holding it back!
What are your pet peeves when it comes to email etiquette? I’d love to know to make this a teachable moment!
As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.
Copyright © 2014, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS
1-800-267-3245, [email protected]
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