Are your e-mails being misinterpreted?

Posted on Aug 2, 2017 by

According to the Huff Post, U.S. workers spend 6.3 hours a day checking their email. Even at the office, where you are close enough to hold hands with your co-workers, email still prevails.  Email can be taken in many ways, depending on each person reading it.  When writing emails, it is important to make sure you are getting straight to the point, without sounding too harsh or demanding.  Read the following tips below so you can use email effectively rather than a time-consuming way that causes others to resent you.

  1. Do Not Over communicate

People get a tremendous amount of emails each day and the volume of those emails can give them a lot of stress, which results in getting less done.  Before you start writing the email, ask yourself: “Is this really necessary?”

  1. Keep your message clear and Brief

To send an effective email, your message needs to be clear, concise and to the point.  The email needs to be direct and informative and contain all the necessary information.  When you have a lot of information to give in one email use numbered paragraphs or bullet points to chunk information into small, well-organized pieces that are easier for the reader to digest.

Email Draft

Better Email
Hello Carol,

Thanks for sending the report last week.  I read it yesterday, and I feel like Chapter 2 needs more specific information about our sales figures.  I also felt that the tone could have been more formal.

Also, I wanted to let you know that I have scheduled a meeting with the PR department for this Friday regarding the new ad campaign, it is at 11:00 a.m. and will be in the small conference room.

Please let me know if you can make that time.



Hello Carol,

Thank you for sending that report last week.  I read it yesterday. I would like to see some more specific details about our sales figures in Chapter 2.

I might not have let you know, but I am sharing the report with the PR department.  What might we do to give it a more formal look and tone?

I need the revisions complete and approved before 10 am on Friday.  Specifically, the additional details for sales and the more formalized look and tone.

Please contact me if there is anything in the way for you in accomplishing the revisions and deadline.

I appreciate all of your hard work on this!


  1. Check Your Tone

Email robs people of face-to-face interaction, and all non-verbal communication and social cues are lost. This makes it common for people to misunderstand (or even make up stories about) the sender’s intentions behind the email.  The words you choose, how long your sentences are, and capitalization can be easily misinterpreted.  An email might cause a recipient to think that the sender is upset or angry, when in fact, everything is fine.

Email  DraftBetter Email

I need my report by the end of the day or I’ll miss my deadline


Hi Mary,

Thank you for working so hard on that report. I just realized my deadline is by the end of the day.  Please let me know if you cannot get it done today.

I appreciate your help with this!


  1. Proofread Your Message

Before you hit send, take a moment to check over the information you wrote.  It is also important to double check the email address you are sending to.  In addition, look to see if you are replying or replying to all—and be careful not to send information to all if not everyone needs it.  As you proofread your message, make sure to go over the 4 points we find helpful, and your email will be less subject to interpretation and misunderstanding.

Sending emails is a crucial part of your everyday work.  We trust the four points we shared will help you communicate with your colleagues more effectively.  Contact Change Management Communications Center today, for more communication best practices.