UPDATE: Yesterday I shared an example of a time that I did not open an untitled attachment when I should have. Since then several readers have commented strongly that one should NEVER open untitled attachments. I stand corrected. Please read the original post (it’s brief)—and their important comments. Here's the...
I had an experience recently where an individual sent me an email reply with no message--just an attachment. I felt let down, disappointed that my gracious communication had prompted what appeared to be a hasty, minimal reply. I wonder: Am I overreacting? Please share your opinion in the comments. Here's...
With business communication evolving into shorter, quicker messages, people wonder about long-standing formalities like complimentary closes (for example, Sincerely and Best wishes). Do we still use them? If so, which ones belong where? Here are answers to frequently asked questions about complimentary closes for letters, notes, emails, and texts.    Question:...
My husband is on a mailing list for information about upcoming stamp shows. This week he got an email announcement and saw his email address in a clump of at least a hundred others. All were there in a long list, a gold mine for people wanting to sell...
Time to act! Your Canadian clients and customers will celebrate Thanksgiving Day (Jour de l'Action de grâce) on Monday, October 14. Your U.S. contacts will do the same on Thursday, November 28. Be wise and thoughtful, and take this opportunity to remember them before the holiday (c)rush. Consider how...
Do you know how to say no? Are you comfortable writing a message that says no to someone's request? Or do you ignore requests hoping they will go away? Read this post to learn the easy way to say no--and why to say it.  Background: In the past year I...
On Saturday The New York Times ran a humorous column "I Hope You're Well," by Kerry Elson. In case you are unable to access The New York Times online, here are two opening exchanges from the piece: ********************* Hi, Robin, I hope you’re well. I can’t seem to find the attachment. Please re-send. All the best, Laura   Dear Laura, I...
Rob wrote:  I thought you might be a helpful sounding board from something I'm experiencing at work.  Recently, one of our female executive leaders has been using the word Ladies as a salutation in her emails that include men in the To and/or the Cc of the email.  I'm indifferent to people...
It's LGBTQ Pride month and a good time to start using gender-neutral language if you haven't started already. That's words such as people, folks, everyone, they, them, and their, which do not indicate gender. It's different from the expressions ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, men and women, sir,...
At job interviews it's easy to stumble over at least one question, especially if it's unexpected. Interview blunders can cause you to dread following up on your application. But don't lose heart! A thank-you note can remedy the situation.  When you feel that you have blown an interview question, address...