Don't be fooled by the green bow — there's danger in this envelope. Fishfinned envelopes © by Sarabbit, used under Creative Commons license.
When it comes down to writing tough business emails, my best advice can boil down to three action items:
- BEFORE: Have a very clear goal for the communication — what are you trying to get out of the message? What's the best case scenario? Be clear before you start writing.
- START: Open the discussion with a quick question/invitation to talk. A brief email to introduce your question/concern, inviting additional discussion is always easier to manage than a long dense email.
- END: Close big difficult emails with a clear call to action/invitation. Remember what your goal was at the beginning? Tell the recipient exactly how to make that happen. "I'd love to talk to you about how we can DO THIS THING" or even just "Can we figure out a way to make this less frustrating?"