Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

Why are his emails always written in such a nasty tone?

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You’ve probably been there. One person or another’s emails are always written in a snarky, negative or maybe even “I know better than you” kind of tone.

Always.  Why can’t that person stop it and start writing in a nicer tone?

And then when you ask the writer of those allegedly nasty tone emails, he says they weren’t written in anything resembling a negative tone. He didn’t write them in a nasty tone at all. In fact he was smiling – nicely – when he wrote them. He was thinking they would help the project move forward.

So why do we have these opposite viewpoints on the same emails? Sometimes, people could pick better words. Sure. Or they could go into more depth to explain what they are talking about.

Seriously, though, for many emails that are sent, the tone virtually can’t be read from the words included. At all. Period!

Let’s take the simple email example of: “OK.”

Somebody emails that back acknowledging an email. Or maybe they meant: “Okkkayy, but that’s a crazy idea.” Or they gave permission. Or maybe there’s another interpretation that the recipient can dream up.

And how come they didn’t say something like: “OK, that’s the best idea I’ve heard in my 49 years in business.”

The room for interpretation is great and could be never ending. Maybe they mean the opposite. Stop it!!!

Often it goes back to the offline relationship of the people corresponding. If they get along well and work well together, chances are recipients won’t add the nasty tone to those emails. If there are offline issues, chances are that even the nicest emails end up having some negative connotation.

Email is a great tool. Don’t get me wrong. But it’s certainly not the best tool to build great relationships. Most certainly it’s not the best tool to turn not-so-good offline relationships around for the better.

But wait, there’s something we can all do about this conundrum. We can read emails with a smile and give senders the benefit of the doubt.

When we all do that we can use email communication in its most effective way.


Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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