Does Your Writing Reflect Your EQ?

The idea for this blog post came after reading yet another poorly written email in which the writer, a smart and successful business owner, came across as unclear and disrespectful. I actually had to get up and walk away from my computer before I knew I would write a reply that represent the tone and facts I wanted to share.

Though we place much emphasis on the importance of verbal and non-verbal communication when it comes to emotional intelligence (EQ), written communication is just as important – maybe even more so. Without tone of voice, speed of delivery, or body language to extract clues from, hastily written emails can easily be misinterpreted.

Naturally, you don’t have to be the world’s most eloquent or witty story teller to write an email that beautifully demonstrates your high EQ. You just have to practice! Here are some tips to ensure your writing does reflect your EQ:

Take your time

Not only do quickly written emails contain mistakes (misspelled and forgotten words), but they are also missing carefully chosen words and thoughtful and complete information.

Take your time when you write emails to ensure your message will be received as intended. Ask yourself, “Does this accurately reflect how I feel? How will it make the recipient feel?”

Read your email out loud before hitting “send”

When you read your email out loud, it should not sound like you are about to start a fight out in the school yard. If it does, it might be helpful to walk away and reflect on why you are feeling so aggressive towards the recipient.

Once you’ve had a chance to calm down and think through the situation, write a new email. Turn all negative thoughts around, and say, “I feel as though …” and offer solutions (if applicable).

Organize and streamline your thoughts

An organized and concise email is the best way to get your message across. Present information in a logical order that will be easy for the recipient to follow, and really streamline your thoughts so your message cannot be misinterpreted (or lost among too much information).

If you think the email could be better organized or needs some editing, ask someone you trust, who knows you well, and who’s a good writer to read the email and offer you suggestions on improvement.

How do you make sure your emails and other written communications accurately reflect your EQ? It would be great to hear about more ideas so we each can be more thoughtful and clear with our messaging.

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