Much of our verbal communication skills can be applied to written communications such as email and text.

  • Put aside distractions and focus on the message.
  • Read the words, but also pay attention to the tone.
  • Notice the punctuation they’ve chosen, such as exclamation marks.
  • Don’t start thinking of your reply until you’ve read the entire message.
  • Avoid jumping to conclusions or passing judgment until you’ve read the message at least twice.
  • If the message is emotional or you feel the need to react or argue, step away from the keyboard.
  • When you’re in a calm state of mind, respond respectfully and honestly.
  • Make sure you specifically address any concerns listed in the message.
  • If the message feels aggressive or pointed, consider moving the conversation to a phone call or in person where you can each get a better read on one another and are less likely to misinterpret what is being said.