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Opinion | How to Get Every Email Returned

Just Ask

People usually avoid asking directly because they fear rejection and embarrassment.

But we as humans are wired to want to help. Think about yourself, how you react when someone asks something of you - you probably make an effort to do it.

And if you’re rejected, you’ve lost nothing.

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Opinion | How to Get Every Email Returned

Opinion | How to Get Every Email Returned

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/25/opinion/sunday/writing-advice.html

nytimes.com

5

Key Ideas

Tell the Truth

In general, facts matter less than emotions when trying to persuade someone. People choose to believe information that matches what they already believe and avoid facts that might contradict them.

But they will get angry if you mislead them. And you will lose their trust. Accuracy matters. Make sure what you say rings true.

Be Quick About It

Most daily communications are too long and rambling. Get to the point. 

People are busy. They don’t want you to go on and on. Be honest, direct and short.

Just Ask

People usually avoid asking directly because they fear rejection and embarrassment.

But we as humans are wired to want to help. Think about yourself, how you react when someone asks something of you - you probably make an effort to do it.

And if you’re rejected, you’ve lost nothing.

Know Your Audience

We're usually persuaded by people who make it clear they understand us, that they relate to our concerns. So seek out those opportunities for connection. Ask questions and really listen to the answers.

Think about this in everything you write. What does your audience really want to hear?

Banish Jargon

Even if you use it with someone working in the same field as you, it doesn't make you sound smart.

No matter the audience, write simply and clearly. That takes longer, but the effort will pay off. 

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