nana johari

August 5, 2017

Extra: What I learnt from sending formal emails

Few things I learnt from this whole sending formal emails thing:
Self reminders.

1. Keep calm.

If there's a conflict, misunderstanding, repetition;
calmly clarify things again, calmly assert your needs and rights.

Yes, they might have poor management or structure, yes the fault might be theirs, yes they might seem incompetent and careless. No matter what they should have done or what they should have thought, no matter what their titles are; it's people you are dealing with, not machines.

Reminding myself that people make mistakes, helps. People can get tired, they can get emotional, some people are poor at compartmentalizing, people can get distracted and they can get stressed. Or they might be simply suck at doing their job. I don't know how they are, or what's happening with them. I don't know whose mistake it is, so making all of them suffer for it isn't quite fair. 

People have personalities, they have their own way of doing things. As long as the issue can be solved, as long as they finish their job albeit a bit later than I personally prefer, as long as it's not harmful— it's fine. Often, there's no need for me to get worked up.  

2. Honestly, write cover letters.

"a letter sent with, and explaining the contents of, another document or a parcel of goods."

For everything. Attachments, cheques, resumes etc. In emails or mails. Even when you think they should know what the hell you are talking about, even when you think it's obvious what it is you are doing, just write one. If it seems redundant, write a simple one.  

3. Don't have too many representatives  

—dealing with one thing. 

Unless you guys hold regular 10 minutes morning meeting to keep up with what's going on. 

Try not to make your customers repeat themselves, especially to every one of you. It annoys customers, it makes you seem like you don't listen to them and you don't really care. You don't want to work with people who are annoyed.

Inform each other (team members) on what's happening. At least, before you pass a problem/job to someone else (other team member), give them a heads-up.

As someone who gets the job from someone else, reconfirm things with customers if you want to make sure no information has fallen through the cracks, in case your team member sucks at relaying information (or just in case they made mistakes). Plus, it can give the impression that you put effort into understanding the problem/issue and want to help.  

4. Manners.

Always say thank you, even when you think it's their job to help you, or to settle the problem that they caused. Even when you are asserting your rights, thank them for their cooperation, thank them for their assistance. Don't over do it though.

Apologize, only if needs be. 

Consider the possibility that you might be in the wrong, no matter how sure you are that you are right (you might be right tho). At least give the impression that hey, this might be my mistake I hope you could help me clarify what's going on etc. So they won't immediately go defensive. Avoid unnecessary complications.

5. Be transparent

Be honest with your needs, your confusion, your problems etc. Help them understand.


  1. Cover letter is so important. We don't even sure when our email going to be replied so I like to make sure I attached all related document. No loose ends.

    // afifahaddnan