I’ll admit, I don’t write emails consciously thinking about the language, ’email phrases’ and structure I’m using relative to it’s impact on me getting a response. I just type my thoughts, press send and await a response. I’m what is called a passive emailer. Maybe because I, in my line of work, don’t really have to rely on anyone else.
However, if you do rely on the competence of your co-workers to get stuff done throughout the day, the frustration of getting radio silence or the wrong response can be excruciating.
By ‘wrong response’ I don’t mean something that you didn’t want to hear but rather something along the lines of asking a series of questions and getting zero answers.
So the question is, how do you circumvent these annoyances and email irks without coming across as a passive-aggressive arsehole? You can’t really but these four email phrases are worth a shot as advised by Mashable.
1. “Need clarification by [time]”
Co-workers love deadlines; it’s what gets them out of bed in the morning. I’m joking of course but since the word ‘urgent’ is effectively meaningless now, a rough estimate of when you need a response allows co-workers to think about your request in the same dimensions as the rest of their schedule.
2. “Would it be better to give you a call?”
Emails have pretty much phased out the need to speak to one other on the phone – suck on that, Alexander Graham Bell. However, suggesting a call warrants a response because of how inconvenient speaking on the phone would be to them. You just have to risk that they won’t call your bluff and want to talk about the weather or something.
3. “Are you able to view the attachment”
I like this one because you’re basically asking “WHY HAVEN’T YOU RESPONDED YET?” but sneakily. It is the most passive-aggressive email phrase but simultaneously the most effective.
4. “Is this done?”
Alright, it sounds rude but sometimes you just need to know. Emails are by their nature quite blunt little messages so hopefully the receiver will see the best in you and assume you phrased it this way because you’re stressed/busy.