Posted by: jmwilsonmga | April 16, 2013

Before you click “Send”…..

Sometimes we say, write and do things that we ultimately regret. Perhaps we said them out of anger or frustration or maybe didn’t pay attention to the way we delivered the information and it was misconstrued.  Sound familiar?

emailEspecially susceptible to being misunderstood are e-mails. Unlike the spoken word which is full of voice pitch variations giving us a clue as to the emotion behind what is being said, the written word leaves itself open to interpretation by the reader.  What we’ve intended with our written correspondence and what the reader gets out of the message can sometimes be two completely different things.

With our increasing use of “text speak”*, the danger of miscommunication is even greater.

* – Text Speak: Any of a number of different measures of abbreviation used to shorten the length of text messages, such as omitting vowels, forgoing the use of punctuation, representing “you” and “your” as “u” and “ur”, using “da” (or, rarely “t’”) in place of “the”, and so on.

To ensure your next e-mail message is clear, professional and delivers the message you intend it to, consider the following before you click “Send”:

  • Read and Re-read – Read it back to yourself as if you are the recipient. Is your message clear? Does it come across as rushed, harsh or rude?
  • Have someone else read – Sometimes it’s good to have a friend/co-worker read your e-mail and let you know if your message is clear and understood the way you are intending.
  • Avoid Sarcasm – Sarcasm often misses the mark in written form. Without the inflection your voice gives in speaking, it’s hard to tell what you mean when you write “I Love Mondays.”
  • Mind your Manners – Especially in a professional setting, be sure to use proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization and by all means a greeting and a salutation.  Save “Text Speak” for texting with your friends.

So instead of:

need that rept by 3- Thx.

Try :

Hi Suzie Q,

Do you have that report ready for me? I would like to have it by this 3:00 this afternoon if possible.

Thank you!


It’s easy to become complacent with our e-mail messages, assuming that the recipient will understand what we want regardless of our manners and tone. However, we are communicating with fellow human beings so why not speak through e-mail as though we were speaking in person?

Cathy-Baldwin---Jan-2013About the Author : Cathy Baldwin, Marketing Manager

Cathy has been a member of the J.M. Wilson Team since 1990 and currently serves as the Marketing Manager.  She oversees the marketing team, which provides marketing support for our underwriting teams in commercial transportation, property/casualty, professional liability, personal lines, and surety.  Cathy loves the variety in her position as marketing manager.  She has the opportunity to work with everyone at J.M. Wilson, our agents, and the companies we represent.  In her free time, Cathy loves to work out at CrossFit – AZO.  She also enjoys reading and listening to music – her favorites range from Neil Diamond to Led Zeppelin.

Connect with Cathy on LinkedIn

Disclaimer :  This article is for informational purposes only.  There is no legal advice being suggested or proffered.  The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon such information.  This article is the opinion of the author and is not supported or endorsed by J.M. Wilson.  It should not be relied upon and may contain inaccuracies or content may have changed over time, contact your underwriter for the most current and accurate information.  Any comments or responses are the opinions of their authors.  Content on this site is believed to be covered under Fair Use. Legal

Copyright 2013 J.M. Wilson Corporation

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