Reading inspirational quotes, visualizing a successful day, and repeating a set of affirmations are some of the ways people choose to guarantee an optimistic start to their day. Have you considered that sending out an email can work equally well?
While social networking websites draw you in with their lively banter, email conversations have a charm of their own. They make you feel like you belong, like you’re “in on something that the world does not know or understand”.
Unfortunately, email discussions can get out of hand with just a negative word or two slipped in, whether out of anger, irrationality, or thoughtlessness.
We have spoken about email etiquette and how not to craft an email. In this post, we’ll explore four types of emails you can send to start your day on a good note. You don’t have to turn them into a routine or force yourself to send them when you don’t want to. The idea is to develop the habit of keeping your communication amiable, or at the very least, civil, at all times.
The “What’s Up?” Email
You’re busy during the week, and so is everyone else. Even the weekends whiz by in a flurry of social activity. This leaves you no time to catch up with people you cannot meet in person or talk to over the phone. Pretty soon, the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months before you have a decent conversation with such people, who’re close to your heart, but are also out of your social orbit.
It does not have to be this way. Email communication is better than no communication at all. Begin your day by sending out an email to someone you haven’t spoken to or heard from recently. Share the highlights of what’s been going on in your life. Ask what’s going on in theirs. Add a couple of anecdotes that you know the recipient will enjoy. The response you get might just make your day.
Since this kind of email is meant to function as a replacement for a full-blown conversation, take the liberty of ignoring advice about writing short emails.
The “Here’s Something For You!” Email
Isn’t it wonderful to open your inbox and find a simple message that makes you smile? You can give your friends and family the same pleasure by leaving them a happy and refreshing email to open early in the morning.
Send your sibling a funny quote, share an inspiring TED video with your friends, or leave an I love you for your partner. You know what makes the people in your life tick. You can never predict where such openers will lead, but usually they lead somewhere good.
A word of caution is required here. Before you proceed to fill up people’s inboxes with what you think is great stuff, remember that even a nice email can be boring if it turns up like clockwork or if it contains something similar every time. Add an element of rarity and surprise to keep things interesting.
The “Hey There.” Email
Thanks to email, you can get in touch with people from all over the world directly without being accosted by gatekeepers. You can forge new connections simply by introducing yourself and letting the other person set the tone of your communication. This gives you the chance to find and interact with like-minded people, ask questions of those you admire, pitch ideas, start collaborative projects, and do much more.
Take advantage of the opportunities provided by email to connect with people. For all you know, some of those people might end up playing key roles in your life at a later date.
I have always been hesitant to write to strangers, assuming that I would be crowding their digital space by doing so. But a couple of weeks ago, I mustered up the courage to email a handful of writers whose work I’m in awe of.
I said hello, introduced myself briefly, and thanked them for inspiring me through their words. I even added a question or two on which I would have appreciated their insight. Of course, I first checked that the recipients were open to such correspondence, to keep my mails from spilling over into the realm of spam.
To be frank, I was not expecting a response, as I said to myself, “They are such famous people and I bet their inboxes are filled with mails like the one I sent. They probably won’t have the inclination to respond even if they do have the time for it.” I’m glad I was wrong. Every one of those writers replied in a warm and personal tone that said that they cared enough to stop by and say hello. That’s the beauty of email — if written well, it reminds us that despite all the digital trappings we’re mired in, we’re still human.
The “I Have Something To Say.” Email
Begin your workday by letting your boss know what you’re up to or by requesting feedback from your colleagues. Apply for your dream job, share ideas with your peers, or leave an encouraging note for that new guy on your team. Taking this kind of action not only puts you in a better frame of mind, when it is done before you have been caught up in the nitty-gritty of your workday, your chances of getting it right are higher.
As many of us work digitally these days, email communication forms a crucial part of our workflow. Whether you’re working on a group project, searching for a job, or pitching a query, email is involved in a big way. Don’t ruin things for yourself by dashing off emails without thought or effort.
Say It Right
Negative email conversations are upsetting, to say the least. The faceless blocks of text between you and the email recipient cut off any chance of observing and understanding the nuances of body language, expression, tone of voice, etc. that accompany your words when you’re not hidden behind a digital screen. This is why, if you’re not careful, your words can easily be taken out of context and your humor misinterpreted.
Things can take a turn for the worse before you get a chance to defend yourself and set things right. Minor differences escalate into major rows. They leave behind a vague sense of unease even after the air has been cleared.
Avoid such unfavorable scenarios by keeping your tone positive regardless of the subject you’re discussing. There is no need to sidestep important issues, fake emotions, or try to come across as anything you’re not. Say whatever you have to say, but infuse your words with more friendliness and rationality. Of course, first ensure that your emails will be welcome, and have a healthy respect for personal boundaries.
What kind of emails do you like sending and receiving? How do you keep your emails positive? Let us know in the comments.
Image Credits: Good Morning!!! by vinothchandar (used under CC), Happy Happy Cookie by carbonnyc (used under CC), a hug for happiness by montseprats (used under CC), Cardiff City Huddle by joncandy (used under CC), Email Tips by planeta (used under CC) | Images are derivatives of their originals