Do You Have Netiquette?

Strategically Speaking: A Blog by Denha Media Group

Email etiquette is vital in maintaining respect, decorum and relationships

A few years ago, I got into a very heated argument via email. After days of arguing with this particular person and more than two dozen emails later, I realized the dispute had escalated far beyond the original disagreement and all because we were communicating via email.

Everyone knows the 24 hour rule. If someone or something has really upset you, wait at least 24 hours to respond. Waiting to respond to an email that infuriates you is also good advice. You may not have to wait 24 hours but don’t be too quick to hit the send button, either.

One of the most critical skills of someone who communicates via email is to have proper netiquette (email etiquette). Many of us can recall incidences when we have been misunderstood or we have misunderstood an email that someone has sent to us. There are tips for effective email communication. I share with you my top ten Netiquette rules.

  1. Never respond to an email when you are upset. Wait at least an hour. Try going for a walk to relax.
  2. If you draft an email while still angry, save it first and then re-read it an hour or so later. You might change your mind.
  3. Flaming is foolish. Always be respectful. Do not swear or name call in an email. You will regret it later.
  4. Because we lack body language in an email, which is more than 75 percent of how we communicate, the use of symbols is appropriate as long as it is not overdone. You can express emotion using J or LOL.
  5. Avoid Sarcasm. It is lost via email. This could escalate into a much more serious disagreement if you do not explain your tone in an email.
  6. Use “chunking”. Do you not write in one long paragraph; instead, separate ideas into small paragraphs.
  7. Re-read the email that angered you a few times before you respond to make sure you are not misunderstanding what the person is saying to you.
  8. No matter how upset you are, still address the person by his name and not by a name you want to call him.
  9. Use proper English and grammar. Use spell check. This will help maintain a proper level of respect.
  10. Approach the email with the intent of bringing peace and solving the problem and not with the desire to fight.

Vanessa Denha Garmo is founder of Denha Media Group

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