These sneaky wordings to ban in your professional emails

These sneaky wordings to ban in your professional emails

The other day, your colleague didn’t respond to your email? It is very likely that you have used a passive-aggressive formula without realizing it. The list of those to know.

“As mentioned in my last email”, “Sorry for the double email”, “Thank you for…”. There are a lot of passive-aggressive expressions lurking in your emails. These must be avoided, at the risk of leading to multiple frustrations and misunderstandings.

Not very innocuous turns of phrase

If speaking, it is easy to catch a sentence, a word – in writing, things get complicated.

A cold email or an unflattering expression can immediately turn into drama. This is why passive-aggressive formulations – that is to say which avoid direct confrontation, and through this avoidance, become aggressive – should be banned.

They can of course harm communication and create misunderstandings or unnecessary tensions“, confirms Amélie Boukhobza.

So, which formulas to avoid? According to a study carried out by Adobe, which dissected the professional emails of a panel of 1000 employees, certain sentences are particularly hated:

  • “Not sure if you saw my last email” (25%);
  • “As mentioned in my last email” (13%);
  • “Following our exchange” (11%);
  • “Any news on this?” (11%);
  • “Sorry for the double email” (10%);
  • “Thank you for…” (9%).

These can be interpreted in different ways by the recipient(s), which can lead to misunderstandings and ineffective communication. They can also prevent the primary objective – that is, the collection of information – from being achieved.

How to better formulate your sentences?

To prevent misunderstandings at work, our expert psychologist recommends perfecting your “sense of wording”. In other words, by learning to rephrase your anxiety-provoking phrases and expressions.

  • “As I mentioned before…”. The expert’s alternative: “As a reminder” or “As previously stated” which remain more polite while drawing attention to information already communicated.
  • “If you had read the document.” The expert’s alternative: “I would like to highlight the following information in the document…” which indicates the importance of the information without assuming a lack of vigilance on the part of the recipient.
  • “It’s not what I expected, but it’s OK.” The expert’s alternative: “Thank you for your work. Next time, I would like to see more…”.
  • “As you already know…” The expert’s alternative: “To make sure we are on the same line….” which clarifies without assuming negligence.

The advantage of these good reflexes?

Avoiding passivity-aggressiveness in professional communication helps maintain a pleasant and less stressful working atmosphere; strengthening collaboration and respect. Things can absolutely be said in another way. Direct and respectful communication will further eliminate ambiguities and make understanding even easier. explains Amélie Boukhobza.

30 quotes about work




Slide: 30 quotes about work