I love reading my Inc.com online alerts.  This one just jumped out at me.  “5 Email Mistakes That Make You Look Extremely Unprofessional”

As a highly sensitive entrepreneur I take great pride in how I write my emails.  Do you?  Well, according to this article you definitely should.  As I read it I had reactions to it (as a highly sensitive entrepreneur of course and a psychologist as well) so here’s my opinion on a great article, starting with the first of Peter’s 5 points.


1 Unstructured Criticism:  First I hate the word criticism it’s so unconstructive.  I prefer feedback because people tend to listen when it’s called feedback.  The article says don’t ‘blast negativity at someone through an email’.  Yes, words can appear harsher in print without the tone or facial expressions of the messenger.

For us highly sensitive person biz types, we love ‘seeing and hearing’ face and tone movements and levels.  It gives me much more scope for the meaning of the words and the overall sense of the message I am being given.  This way I definitely know how the messenger feels.   Ho-hum, I know this is not always possible so…

The Inc article suggests delivering your criticism in ‘the compliment sandwich’ way!  This sounds nice, but when I taught communication 101 at university this type of sandwich while nicer didn’t always digest well, particularly when using words like “great job Sue, but….”  I can guarantee that Sue didn’t dwell on the great job part of the message, but she probably ruminated over all the stuff that came after BUT.

(On a psychological note, the truth and reality of a message always comes after the BUT).

The Burnout Queens suggest using kinder words overall.  There is no need to be negative.  Instead, focus on the strength of the person’s skills and encourage them in your feedback to use their strengths to correct themselves and their work.  “Sue I loved the energy and creativity at the beginning of your report.  Is there some way you can end it on that same enthusiastic and creative note?”   Sue may actually shine and be proud of the outcome.

Next post, I’ll give you the HSP scoop on one more Email Mistake in this article.  In the meantime, why not try The Burnout Queens’  Strength Building Feedback Style for the next few days with your colleagues (wink: it works with the kids and yourself as well).

If you’ve been served the compliment sandwich, let us know and what it may you feel like.

Love, The Burnout Queens xx

For the original  Inc.com article click here