Email has become endemic to our culture. Without it, it would be difficult to communicate as frequently as it seems the ministry and the marketplace require. I receive scores of emails every day, and I know some pastors and leaders who get over 100. YIKES! It can be a useful tool if used correctly, but it can also be a deadly tool if used poorly. If you want to make matters worse with people you know or within your organization or church, these 11 worst practices will definitely get the results you want.
1. When you are emotionally charged about something or someone, fire off your email right then. Make sure you are honest in what you say. Share your true feelings. Remember, honesty is the best policy.
2. If you want to add emotion to your email to emphasize your point, WRITE YOUR EMAIL IN ALL CAPS. IT IS THE BEST WAY TO MIMIC A REAL SCREAM, ONLY YOU ARE USING PIXELS.
3. To further make your point, use an exclamation point! Even better, use lots of them!!!!!!!!!
4. Never, never, never let someone objective read a difficult email before you send it. Again, honesty is the best policy, and you wouldn’t want anyone to edit out your honesty.
5. It’s best to send an email in a sticky situation, rather than calling someone or meeting them face-to-face. That way, you save precious time in the moment, even though your email may be misunderstood. If it’s misunderstood, it’s the recipient’s fault.
6. Always assume that people who read your emails will perfectly understand what you intended to say. After all, it is in black and white.
7. Make sure that your emails are long enough that the reader has to scroll down to read the entire email. I mean, you took the time to write it; the other person should take the time to read it.
8. When you need something, don’t write “please” in the email or the reader might think you don’t mean business. Just demand it.
9. When you get an email sent to several people, use “reply all” so that everybody gets to read your response.
10. If someone does not respond to your email in a timely manner, always assume that they are a slovenly slob. Never assume that the email could have gotten blocked, accidentally sent to the junk folder or inadvertently trashed.
11. Pay no attention to the email golden rule: Type unto others what you would have them type unto you.
What email practices have you discovered that make matters worse?
Charles Stone is the senior pastor of West Park Church in London, Ontario, Canada, the founder of StoneWell Ministries and the author of several books. This post was originally published on CharlesStone.com.