People hate it when they ask you something, only to
have them waiting for an answer that may never
Them: “Do you have the report ready for Friday?”
You: “I’ve been out of the office today. Super busy!”
Even if it’s a quick “okay” answer people directly, or
let them know when to expect an answer.
You sandwich what you actually need from recipients
to the point it’s confusing or easily missed.
You: “I’ve been really busy gathering the data for the
annual report. It’s tough to find the data for index 23.
Can you find it? I’ll be working on the rest of the
Repeat your request or expand on it in a separate
(preferably, close to the beginning or end) part of the
You constantly use email when it would be faster or
more clear to use chat, a phone call, or in person.
Any email chain that starts growing beyond a few back
and forths, or involves more than a couple people
Don’t be afraid to ask to move the conversation to a
better medium. Ask to schedule a meeting, call, or
even a lunch.
Your witty or sarcastic remarks are often taken literally
or negatively. Other times, they’re just plain
You: “You know what they say about Women and
If anything can be ambiguous or taken in a negative
way, leave it out. If you have to include it, reword it to
be as clear as possible.
You send urgent requests in emails expecting
You: “I need this done for the client in 30 minutes.”
If you expect to need anything from the recipient in
the next couple days, switch to a phone call or talk to
them in person.
Your emails are one big chunk of words lacking
emphasis preventing readers from skimming them.
Any paragraph more than 6 lines long, with multiple
important points, or lacking lists, headings or bullet
People skim, so make it easy on them with point-
separated paragraphs, bullet point lists, clear
headings, and requests actions on their own