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How to email like a BOSS! 📧

Have you ever spent 15 minutes trying to type a three-sentence email?


What IS it that makes us overthink a work email to the point of paralysis? If you’re me, it’s because of thoughts like:

  • Do I sound too harsh?

  • How do I get my point across without rambling?

  • How do I say what I mean while being professional?

It’s exhausting! Not to mention, inefficient.

You have no idea how many times I’ve sat at my computer typing, deleting, and re-typing variations of the same sentence. One day, after trying to write an email pitch to a magazine editor 8 different ways, I decided I’d had enough of second-guessing myself.

I was not thinking like a BOSS. A boss says what needs to be said and stands behind it.

These tips for emailing with confidence are valuable no matter where you are in your career, from intern to C-suite. However, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be acting like the boss you are.

Quick Confidence Tips to Email with Authority:

1. Mindset. Realize people *do* judge your emails. The simple fact is, email is how lots of work gets accomplished. That’s why people judge your emails, and rightly so. What does sending an email with no greeting, or forwarding an irrelevant email chain full of indecipherable acronyms say about you? A good rule of thumb is: If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it by email either. Digital Body Language author Erica Dhawan puts an even finer point to it when she says: “Reading carefully is the new listening [and] writing clearly is the new empathy.” If your writing is just one more aspect of how you are perceived by others, think about how you can make it a positive, considerate, and memorable experience.

2. Embodied. Override rushed responses. Sure, the pace of your work may feel like a treadmill that’s going too fast! But even if that’s the case, start to slow down when you read emails. Slowing down doesn’t mean you’re slow: when we rush to read through what’s in front of us, we miss important points, answers to our questions, and run the risk of duplicating our efforts! It’s the same with composing an email. Rushing to type your response not only makes you less eloquent but also increases the chance that you’ll sound either curt or overly apologetic. So, when it’s time to read and reply to emails, try the stop-clap technique. Picture a red stop sign in your mind, then immediately clap your hands as a way to “break” with what you were just doing and tune in to the present moment.

3. Interpersonal. Reinforce your boundaries when checking, responding, and scheduling. In 1,000 little ways, your emails teach others how to treat you. From what you allow to what you reject, you enforce your standards and boundaries as a model to others, not the other way around! You may have a co-worker who emails at any hour of the day, asks you to schedule same-day meetings, or makes a point to respond to emails almost immediately. You do NOT have to match that energy! You can – and should – remind your co-workers when you check your inbox (between the hours of 8 and 5, for example), provide your availability or a link to your calendar upfront, and give yourself time to process an email before responding. If it’s not an emergency, you can likely go at least one business day before getting back to someone. Your time is just as valuable as theirs!

I’m confident that you have some great email tips of your own. Please share them here and let other readers know, so we can all learn how to email like a BOSS!


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