Words in Emails

William Auxierblog

Survey after survey shows that leaders consider themselves excellent communicators.  Survey after survey shows that employees think leaders need to be better communicators.  That creates a problem because there is a definite link between effective leadership and effective communication.  There are many different communication channels, email being one of the more common.


I don’t know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with email.  It’s quick and easy, provides flexibility and convenience, and is readily accepted.  There are times when other channels of communication, like face-to-face communication or simply picking up the phone and placing a call, might work better, but email remains quite popular.  If you are like me, you have experienced a well written email (at least I thought it was well written) being totally misinterpreted.  Have you experienced that?

Those misinterpreted emails are why Gisela Hausman caught my attention with her book “Naked Words:  The Effective 157-Word Email.”  Hausman offers advice on effective email communication that everyone can use.  For example, an email needs to be short, but not too short, to allow recipients to quickly grasp the message.  Other tips Hausman offers include:

  • Enter your name above your signature line. That shows you took a little time to personalize your message.
  • End your email in a way that fits the message (Thanks! Thank you!  Hope this is helpful!  Let me know your thoughts. Etc.)
  • Take your time, particularly for important emails. Incubate on your response, re-read, see how you can improve your message.
  • Read your email aloud to yourself. Make it sound the same as if you were having a short in-person meeting.
  • Always use the recipient’s name in the greeting.

Effective leaders are effective communicators regardless of the communication channel being utilized.  Email communication is very prevalent today and writing effective email is a skill every leader needs.  Effective leaders are always evolving, always improving their communication skills.