Home Business 5 Common Words That Make Your Emails Sound Indecisive and Wishy-Washy

5 Common Words That Make Your Emails Sound Indecisive and Wishy-Washy

“I am satisfied,” Stephen King says, “that worry is on the root of most unhealthy writing.”

That is very true with emails. As a result of the phrases are in writing and due to this fact everlasting (or as Depend Rugen would say, for posterity), with out pondering — or out of behavior — many individuals add qualifiers to their emails.

Which makes them sound hesitant. Uncertain. Indecisive. Wishy-washy. And turns what may have been a robust message into one thing far much less.

Subsequent time you write an electronic mail, take a second to vary or delete the next phrases:


An worker spots a high quality downside and asks you to decide. Evaluate these two responses:

  • “I feel we have to re-run that order.”
  • “Re-run that order.”

Each convey the identical fundamental message: You suppose the order needs to be re-run. Including “I feel” makes it sound like the choice is up for debate. Or that you just’re uncertain. Or perhaps you are subtly in search of enter.

Or that you just’re hedging, since you’re fearful you may be unsuitable.

Need to re-run the order? Simply say so.


What’s your first response when somebody writes, “I simply want 5 minutes of your time”? In case you’re like me, you assume you are going to be bought, and that 5 minutes will truly be extra like 20. 

As a substitute of creating a request sound fast or simple by utilizing “simply,” as an alternative suppose like a marketer. Clarify the advantages. Describe what’s in it for the opposite particular person. Assist me need to spend that 5 minutes with you. In brief, do not attempt to persuade me with how lengthy — clarify why.

The identical is true for requests or instructions. Saying a process will “simply take 5 minutes” sounds such as you’re attempting to melt the blow. 

As a substitute of diminishing significance by writing “simply,” show the significance by explaining why.

Or by merely leaving “simply” out.


Generally you actually are guessing. A gross sales forecast is a guess. A churn fee projecting is a guess. Regardless of how complete the underlying knowledge, something you try to predict continues to be a guess.

Even writing “greatest guess” nonetheless sounds gentle, such as you’re pulling numbers or outcomes out of skinny air.

As a substitute, use projection. Estimate. Forecast. Calculation. Even expectation (which can naturally make individuals need to meet).

In brief, use a phrase that conveys you have assessed the previous and current to forecast the long run. 

As a result of in any other case you actually are simply guessing.


“Want” conveys significance and urgency — but additionally dependency.

A greater method? Substitute a well mannered phrase. As a substitute of, “I would like you to finish the order by the tip of the day,” write, “Please full the order by the tip of the day.” Or, “Thanks upfront for finishing the order by the tip of the day.”

(Facet observe: closing an electronic mail with “thanks upfront” is the top-ranked phrase when it comes to getting individuals to reply.)


Granted, some issues are necessary… and others are very necessary.

However writing, “It’s extremely necessary that your division improves its security outcomes…” sounds such as you’re attempting to persuade me.

Miss superfluous adjectives like “very,” “extremely,” or “extraordinarily.” In case you really feel you could stress severity or criticality or seriousness, use knowledge and purpose as an alternative. 

Whenever you need one thing to get performed, together with a number of adjectives will hardly ever inspire or encourage. 

Sharing the logic behind the choice or motion — turning a directive right into a shared mission — definitey can.

The opinions expressed right here by Inc.com columnists are their very own, not these of Inc.com.

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