#1 Use emojis
No, we’re not trying to be cool, we’ll use them appropriately. But they can be a fantastic way to convey emotion when we can’t speak face-to-face.
#2 Assume positive intent
Especially now when we lack many of those mediums for communication, to keep ourselves sane and our relationships healthy, assume positive intent. If a message reads a bit off or something feels not right, read it assuming the best possible interpretation and get on a call with the person to clarify.
#3 Over clarify
When not face-to-face, explain what you’re asking or what you want as though you were speaking with a 5-year-old…from Mars. Like we assume positive intent, we should also assume complete ignorance. Remember to explain why you’re doing something or asking someone to do it.
#4 Be succinct
While not wanting to skimp on the clarity, it’s just as important not to waffle on. Nothing makes the shoulders sag quite like a very lengthy email. So include all the details, but be succinct. Be as clear as possible without using unnecessary words.
#5 Give it one last read
There are some benefits to email over telephone of course. Documenting what has been said to avoid misunderstanding springs to mind. But one of the main benefits is the opportunity to rework what you’ve said.
Don’t waste the chance to re-read and edit your message to make it better. Everyone’s in a rush but one good email can save time in the long run. After editing, be sure to give it one last proofread. Oh, and don’t forget to actually attach that attachment.
#6 Be patient
Things may take slightly longer than before. If something is particularly urgent, then maybe right now email is perhaps not the best approach (if it ever was). A phone call would be better, as you will have the opportunity to first learn about their workload and headspace, before asking for help with yours.