It is easy to say or appear to be saying things a certain way when we are emailing but there are certain rules of communicating via email that we must follow. It is important to remember not to use E-mail in certain situations and to follow some standards etiquette.
1. If we are angry or emotional our messages have the possibility of being misinterpreted.
The ‘count to 10’ advice is a good one to follow when thinking about sending an email if you are angry. Don’t sit down and write something that you know you will regret later. Try saying it out loud and sometimes that will remind you of how it would sound in an email. If it sounds mean and judgmental out loud then it will probably sound even worse in E-mail. Remember you don’t have the option of voice inflection or tone when you are writing and the recipient won’t ‘hear’ it ‘how you meant it’ necessarily. Wait until you have calmed down and even get a second opinion before you send something.
2. Questions may need clarification.
If you just have a quick question go back to the old standard of using the telephone and ask the quick question to save you and the reader time. Often times we E-mail a question out of context and it then requires the reader to reply with another question to clarify your question. Cut to the chase, just call.
3. Conflict or difficult messages.
E-mail should not be used as a venue to approach unpleasant or conflict with someone. Have the professionalism to deliver the news; no matter how difficult it is in person or by phone.
4. Gossip and hurtful statements.
Remember if you can’t say something to someone’s face then you probably shouldn’t be saying it at all and especially not in an E-mail to others. Like Mom used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” Don’t put yourself in a position of being the Gossip source in your office. Don’t pass on things that you are not a part of or rumors. If it doesn’t involve you then stay out of it is always a good rule to follow. If someone has confided in you, keep the secret or a secret you share may end up on the company bulletin board as well.
5. Legal issues or proprietary information.
Make sure you know what your company policy’s are for sensitive information in regard to sharing it via E-mail or otherwise. Don’t give legal advice if you are not your company’s attorney. Opinions are just like ‘armpits’ everyone has one. Keep yours to yourself when it comes to legal and proprietary information and you will steer clear of legal actions.
6. Don’t write a novel.
We all process information and written material differently according to our behavior styles so don’t assume your reader will have the time or the energy to read very lengthy E-mail that you may feel is necessary to get your point across. You would be better off asking when they might have time to talk for a moment concerning the issue rather than trying to spell it all out in your E-mail.

Author's Bio: 

Jacque Miller holds a Masters degree in Holistic Nutrition, is a Certified Behavior Specialist and Certified Lifestyle Coach in Cave Creek, AZ and developed the networking card game “Promotion Motion”. She is a nationally know speaker and author.