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Email Perils

Jim Wideman

Email is a valuable -- yet potentially damaging -- communication tool. Follow these pointers when you use it.

• Use a friendly tone. If you send a simple request or information, couch it in friendly terms so you're not interpreted as being brusque. A simple salutation and farewell gives your message a friendly tone.

• Don't hide behind email. If you're dealing with a touchy issue, don't email your unpleasant message. "Walk and talk" -- have a conversation. People feel belittled when they receive a corrective email; email only as follow-up documentation.

• Read critically. Read what you've written to check clarity and tone; edit on the side of kindness.

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