www.wagonheim.com
Only write what you wouldn’t mindseeing blown up in court as Exhibit A
One paragraphis better thantwo; twoparagraphs arebetter thanthree.I always cringe when I see that my client has written a ...
If the only point ofthe message is toconvince someonethey’re wrongusing facts theyalready know,don’t send it.
Nothing belongs in ALL CAPS.
Imagine you feeljust as strongly,but that you’rewriting to yourmother.
Spelling and grammar count.
Just the facts. Feelings are for yourtherapist.
Rage has no place in businesscommunication.If you’re reaching back to bring up past slights that have nothing to dowith th...
Ask yourself what you would bewriting if you were on the otherside.
Active voice should always be used.(That’s a grammar joke, right there.)
If you want someone to dosomething, set a timeframe ordeadline.
No threats.
Respect that reasonable peoplecan disagree.
Cc’ing your lawyer does not scare anyone.
Invite the other side to show you anythingyou should consider when you analyze theirpoint of view
Allow everyone a graceful exitand a way to save face
Calm down and think: would this situationbe better off if I did not hit “send?”SEND?
Connect With Us Online!Get more small business resources at www.wagonheim.com/resources!
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17 Rules for Sending Emails (As Told By A Lawyer)

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Lawyers are often thought of as people who communicate for a living. There is some truth to that, but I find just as frequently, that the best advice I can give is to reign in the impulse to respond and often, to shorten the response to its essence. The reason? As someone who has spent more than his fair share in trial, I can tell you that a case becomes weaker with every minute someone has to spend explaining away a letter that never should have been written.

In light of my hardly unique experience with a response begging to be sent, I thought I would present my rules – hard won after 26 years of adversarial communication. Knowing what to say, when to say it, how to say it, and when not to say it is a skill set rapidly becoming unique in American business. Train your people. Well-crafted communication is everyone’s job.

Check out more resources at www.wagonheim.com/resources!

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17 Rules for Sending Emails (As Told By A Lawyer)

  1. 1. www.wagonheim.com
  2. 2. Only write what you wouldn’t mindseeing blown up in court as Exhibit A
  3. 3. One paragraphis better thantwo; twoparagraphs arebetter thanthree.I always cringe when I see that my client has written a novel to the other side.
  4. 4. If the only point ofthe message is toconvince someonethey’re wrongusing facts theyalready know,don’t send it.
  5. 5. Nothing belongs in ALL CAPS.
  6. 6. Imagine you feeljust as strongly,but that you’rewriting to yourmother.
  7. 7. Spelling and grammar count.
  8. 8. Just the facts. Feelings are for yourtherapist.
  9. 9. Rage has no place in businesscommunication.If you’re reaching back to bring up past slights that have nothing to dowith the current issue, know it for what it is – rage.
  10. 10. Ask yourself what you would bewriting if you were on the otherside.
  11. 11. Active voice should always be used.(That’s a grammar joke, right there.)
  12. 12. If you want someone to dosomething, set a timeframe ordeadline.
  13. 13. No threats.
  14. 14. Respect that reasonable peoplecan disagree.
  15. 15. Cc’ing your lawyer does not scare anyone.
  16. 16. Invite the other side to show you anythingyou should consider when you analyze theirpoint of view
  17. 17. Allow everyone a graceful exitand a way to save face
  18. 18. Calm down and think: would this situationbe better off if I did not hit “send?”SEND?
  19. 19. Connect With Us Online!Get more small business resources at www.wagonheim.com/resources!

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