Dear 3040 and Beyond:
I’m a new grad at a big firm and I think I’ve messed things up with my co-workers. They’ve been acting weird around me and my only office friend says I’ve been offending people in my emails. From my boss to my peers, it looks like I’ve made everyone mad. The thing is, I have no idea what kinds of stuff I could say in email that would piss people off! I’m a nice person and I haven’t had many problems like this before. Can you help?
In Hot Water
It is very important when sending emails, especially professional emails to make sure that are using the correct tone, even though some things you are saying to yourself and reading out loud might sound okay in your head it may come off “tone deaf”. This is very important to realize when sending an email, certainly if it is going to your co workers or superiors. We need to start to stray away from these very generic and bland emails/writing, we are millennials! Duh we do not want to things the traditional ways according to every generation before us. So what if those stereotypes are true or not! we still need to make sure we are never ever tone deaf in our emails, people are very sensitive when it comes to emails or texts, and people have a very hard time deciding if what someone is saying is condescending or passive aggressive and this is something we have to look out for, because we might not think what were saying is rude, but our boss might.
There have been many times in my own life where i have texted my own mother, something simple or something i thought was no big deal at all, but she thought i was being snobby and sarcastic. Living in this technical world we live in today we sometimes forget how we talk in person, might not look the same in our writing. Do not worry Hot Water you just will need to ask the people you are closest with inside and outside of the office and ask hey do i seem tone deaf during some of my texts or emails. What is it that i need to change to fix my tone? ask questions, asking will never hurt, especially relating to something like emails, something that will you use in your professional work everyday, it should be asked about.
That is one problem i deal with in my own writing all the time, i will speak as if I am texting, and my writing will sometimes seem to casual and when dealing with a co-worker or a superior it can effect us negatively. We need to be much more conscious on our speaking and need to be much more professional.
Sometimes when I am even emailing my professors i will speak to casually and once a professor did not answer me, and even went out of his way to speak to me in class about how to format an email. I think that that experience that i had with that email and my teacher has helped me a lot. I am very lucky that this event occurred when it did, my freshman year of college, because if i did not fix this issue early in my professional career like i did it could of came back an bit me in a real job interview, or when i was looking for my first job. This will not happen to everyone my age and we need to be much more of aware of our tone and the things we say in emails.
I am reaching out to all of my millennials lets fix this problem before it is too late!