Add these ridiculously simple words when you write an email to make someone’s day.

If you analyze ever email you’ve written over the past few months – let’s start with March 15th, The Ides of March – for the sentiment and the tone of the writing, which column would your writing fall into?

  1. Sunny and positive?
  2. Stressed, anxious, and dour?

Me? Definitely the latter.

And it’s not only me.

People are stressed. According to reports, Americans are deeply unhappy with the state of the nation.

The two emotions that topped the list?

  • Anger
  • Fear

From the pandemic, the sagging economy, and the difficult conversations about race and inclusion – people are stressed and that stress is showing up in people’s email messages.

Adding to the strain that can take a good email to tense one : social distancing, the increase in Zoom calls, close colleagues who are now remote, but also so has our emails. 

A tense email to a colleague or a customer can lead to an agitated exchange quickly.

Adding a few positive words and phrases to your work emails can help people feel good and prevent these timely problems:

  1. Increasing the impatience level of your customer.
  2. Increasing the chances of a negative social media hit-job.
  3. Being ‘a Karen.’ ⬇️

To help us all improve our workplace communication, here is a guide to writing positive emails that will not only help you effectively communicate your ideas, but bring a smile to the recipient.

It only takes a few tweaks to an email to strike a positive tone.

Why not reward the recipient who took the time to read an email by making their day?

Keep these six phrases in mind before you hit send and to bring a little light back into your communications so you don’t pass on your anxiety and stress to your customers and colleagues.

1) Thank you

A phrase that can sometimes be challenging to spit out, especially if you feel the recipient doesn’t warrant the gratitude. However, the practice of gratitude shifts the focus to what’s good and positive in the world, and we all need a little of that right now.

“Thanks so much” is my spin on the thank you. 

Start it at the top or mean it the end, expressing your genuine gratitude will lighten up any email. 

Two examples ripped from my communications last week: 

  • Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. (I wrote that to listener Stephanie in Columbus, OH, who replied to my weekly email. 
  • Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to speak with me. I know how busy you are this time of year. 

2) How can I help?

This phrase will go a long way when determining a person’s day. Who doesn’t need help? And who doesn’t love a person who asks? 

When people are on edge or dealing with stress, the best way to communicate positivity is to offer support. 

Even better? Add it to the subject line.

Some examples:

  • I want to decrease your workload, how can I help
  • That project seems like a big job for one person, how can I help you? 
  • You’ve been experiencing a lot of problems with this request, how can I help you

3) Let me find out for you

This phrase is literally saving someone’s time and likely their emotional energy.

Here are some “I’ve got this” examples: 

  • The Zoom call starts at 3, but they failed to send you the link. Let me find it for you.
  • You’ve been waiting too long for your service call, let me find out what happened.
  • I know you are concerned about social distancing, let me find out if they are requiring people to wear masks. 

4) I can

Here is where you state what you can do in an email, instead of what you can’t.

This is what this call to action looks like:

Positive: I can help. I have an opening on my schedule tomorrow at 1pm to review your article.

Negative: I’m booked tomorrow morning, so can’t review the proposal until later in the day. 

5) You are so…

Wonderful, helpful, thoughtful, intelligent, witty.

Tell people something pleasurable about them in your email interactions. Add an exclamation point for emphasis.

Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to read a compliment about themselves? Even better, writing a compliment is mightier than the spoken one. It takes more thought. 

  • You’re so helpful. 
  • You’re so accommodating, thank you. 
  • You’re so easy to work with on this project. You’re awesome!

6) Don’t Worry

There is no chance for misinterpretation here. One of the simplest – and quickest – ways to lessen a customer’s worry is to tell them not to do so. 

In other words, you’ve got this –

  • You didn’t receive your package? Don’t worry, I’ll find it. 
  • You were having difficulty contacting us? Don’t worry, I’ll extend the deadline. 
  • Your conference is in jeopardy of being cancelled? Don’t worry, I can do it virtually. (I’ve been writing that line a lot these days. If you are on the hunt for a virtual speaker, I’m your gal.) 

There you have it – six phrases to bring a little more sunny optimism into your writing that will help you

Thank you for taking the time to read this email.

Want to hear more? Don’t worry! You can listen for the phrases on this week’s episode of the podcast.