I am guilty of writing emails like a woman. Yes, I am a woman but it seems I am unconsciously using certain speech habits to soften my email communication. It was my Mum who pointed this out to me – looking over my shoulder one day as I was writing an email and reading the words ‘Hello! Apologies for the interruption but I just wanted to get in touch to see if you had had time to go through my previous email. No problem if not.’ Mum said it didn’t sound assertive enough.
I left it there and didn’t think anything of it (I put it down to Mum being Mum) but then I recently came across a Telegraph article about how women can stop writing emails like a girl. I’m guilty of writing …
- ‘I’m sorry for interrupting …’ when I need an update because I think it softens my request.
- ‘I just wanted to check if’ … because I feel it stops me aggressive.
- ‘Does this make sense?’ … when I’m concerned I’ve ‘babbled’ in an email.
I can see that some of the language I use in my emails does make me sound weaker or slightly apologetic. And I do get irritated with myself when I write ‘does this make sense?’ Of course it does. I’m writing clearly and concisely in the English language about a subject I am both knowledgable and passionate about. However, I am a woman and we do think and act differently to men and therefore we will also write differently – because we bring a different level and depth of thinking to the way we communicate. So to be a little rebellious, I’ll continue to embrace my ‘justs’ and ‘sorrys’ if it helps me to sound less abrasive and more kind but at the same time taking a few extra minutes to re-read an email before I send it so that regardless of the language I choose to use, I sound warm, competent, open and proactive.