11 things women should never write in a work email 

Sorry to interrupt but I just thought I’d write a post about the mistakes that some women make when emailing, and maybe offer some tips on how to avoid doing it? 

I don’t know if that’s helpful, feel free to ignore if it’s not relevant, I know you probably already know all of this…

Does this sound like one of your emails? If so then you *need* to read on.

In an office environment some women feel as though they have to constantly apologise for their very presence, and speak in a language that opinion writer Alexandra Petri calls; ‘Woman in a Meeting.’

I’ve put together a list of nine common phrases I’ve seen in emails that are absolute #fails:

  1. “I’m sorry…”

Totes OK to apologise if you’ve actually done something wrong, but don’t apologise for sending an email, people know how to send to trash if they need to.

  1. “Just…”

As in “I just wanted to check that you got my last email” or “I’m just mentioning something you might find useful.” 

Instead, be bold and say; “I’m following up on the email I sent last week” or “Saw this and thought you would find it useful.”

  1. “I’m not sure but…”

You probably are sure, very sure, you’ve probably checked this fact over a hundred times. You are sure, so sound it.

  1. “Sorry to email again, but…”

Did you know that people don’t actually get charged for each email they receive? So it doesn’t matter how many you send, if you haven’t got what you need. 

If you feel like you’re bugging someone via email, then find a way to get the same information from another source or ask someone senior for advice on how to move forward. 


  1. “Does that make sense?”

If it doesn’t make sense, don’t send it in an email. Re-write it until it makes sense, if people have questions they will come back to you and ask them.

  1. “Don’t worry if you cant…”

Erm… do you maybe want to wait until the person has told you if they can do what you’ve asked, before you go ahead and excuse them from it?

  1. “I’m available whenever.”

WRONG. Even if this is the case (which it probably isn’t) this phrase makes you seem like the other person is completely in control. 

What if they ask you to conference call at 4am? Well you did say whenever…

  1. “I may be wrong but…”

If you thought you were wrong, you wouldn’t say it. 

Don’t be afraid to call people out and correct them, in a compassionate way.

  1. “I’m sure you already know this, but…”

I get it, you’re trying to come across as humble and helpful, but really what you’re doing is coming across as weak. 

If you think someone needs to know something, tell them, chances are they will be grateful.

Further reading: Before you send your next professional email, read this:  http://www.taramohr.com/2013/09/before-you-send-your-next-professional-email-read-this/  via Tara Mohr


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