It is very important to exhibit high levels of optimism in your everyday work life. It spurs everyone on to greater achievement and productivity.
However, the circulation of negative information is inevitable; but conveying these negative information with a positive tone is important to help you build a professional image and appear approachable.
These five pointers are quick tips on how to bring a positive note to your e-mails, even when the reality is far from good:
1. Your subject line should always have positive words. This means that you must avoid using words like, ‘problem’, ‘difficult’, ‘issue’, ‘delay’ etc. A subject line with a negative word could be the put-off for most people.
2. Use the passive voice to convey a negative message. Active sentences are direct and they hit too hard, while passive ones convey messages in an indirect manner and lighten the effect. Look at these two sentence below:
a. You haven’t made the payment to us. (Active and direct)
b. The payment hasn’t been received. (Passive and indirect)
3. Remove all personal pronouns while conveying a negative message. No ‘you’, ‘me’, ‘us’, ‘they’ etc. In addition to making your sentences passive, this strategy helps to reduce the effect(s) of negative information.
4. It’s better not to pepper your email with words that reiterate a negative thought. When you start with ‘regret to inform you…’ or ‘unfortunately…’ and continue saying the same words a few times, the negative message sticks unnecessarily longer. Start on a positive note, apologise once and provide a solution to the issue.
5. Avoid absolutes in your email. Words like ‘can’t’, ‘impossible’, ‘difficult’, ‘hard’, ‘never’, ‘will not be able to’, ‘don’t’ etc., create an unprofessional image in the mind of the reader. Instead, use words like, ‘challenge’, ‘avoid’, ‘feasibility is low’ etc.
Be mindful of these minor things: They’re capable of causing irreparable damages to you career.