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Sep 01 2016
Emailing? Texting? You Are Being Judged!
Shane Inglesby, CCE, Geneva Rock, Inc.

Most individuals as they get ready for the day, will make an effort to ensure they are presentable before they leave home and that nothing is out of place. Why the attention to such detail?

As much as we hate to admit it, judgments are made about an individual simply by looking at how they present themselves. Those who acknowledge this fact of life usually confirm they try to make a favorable impression.

Shouldn't the same approach apply to written correspondence? Modern technology has created a world where the written word is, arguably, more common than the spoken word. Email and text messaging are commonplace at work, not to mention in personal correspondence.

Some still lament how face-to-face communication isn't nearly as common as it used to be. The simple truth of the matter is - emails and texts are equally, if not more, effective in many circumstances. Emails and texts allow for quick, immediate correspondence but does not always require its recipient to reply immediately (in most cases). Sometimes a reply isn't even needed.

Written correspondence is the norm and, often times it is the only means by which communication takes place in business. Employees who value how they present themselves to co-workers, management and customers/clients must place a high priority upon generating correspondence that is respected by others.

Emails and texts are judged . . . just like your appearance. Often times, this correspondence is the only means by which the recipient can get a "read" on the sender. Typos, misspellings and/or poor grammar are viewed in the same manner as the individual who chooses to wear wrinkled clothing, hair that is disheveled and/or not using personal hygiene products. This may seem harsh but, in a very competitive world, readers are having to make decisions based upon whatever information is available. In some cases written correspondence is all they have.

Recipients of your correspondence are not only making judgments about the writer, they are also judging the company the writer represents. It is of vital importance that all written correspondence be given full attention by its sender. Writers cannot be casual in what they send.

The following tips will help improve the quality of your correspondence:


  • Always, always, always review what you have written before sending an email or text.
  • Check spelling. Spell check and auto correct are helpful tools but they cannot become a crutch that is used in the name of efficiency. These programs do not fully understand the context of your writing. It may try, but it doesn't always work. Only you can ensure that the proper spelling is being used.
  • Pay attention to grammar. Most word processing programs offer suggestions on how to better phrase a sentence. However, again, do not use grammar correct as a crutch.
  • Use punctuation properly. Punctuation functions as road signs for the reader to more easily navigate what you are presenting. Do not underestimate the importance of punctuation.
  • Have a dictionary handy to double check the spelling of words. An often easier option would be to bookmark a dictionary website on your computer to easily check spelling.
  • When possible, allow a break between writing and sending your correspondence. A delay will allow your writing to become "fresh." After the break, but before sending, review your correspondence once again to make any needed revisions. You will be surprised at how implementing this approach will improve your writing.
  • Ask a co-worker or friend to review and make needed corrections. Although this option is not always practical, important correspondence may warrant another set of eyes to review the document and suggest corrections before the intended recipient receives it.


In a world where time management is crucial, business professionals cannot underestimate the power of written correspondence - for better or worse. Do not be tempted to cut corners and hit the send button before you review what has been written. How you are perceived . . . and valued . . . by others depends upon it.