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This post was inspired by a Grammarly post I came across recently called I hope you’re doing well. Let me first say that I usually love reading their blog, but this particular post caught me off guard. From the writer’s perspective, the email greeting, “I hope this email finds you well,” among various other common generic greetings, should not be used. She goes on to say that it’s insincere, and she doesn’t know why people use it in their emails and would rather people just “cut to the chase.” And then she pleads for people to stop.
While I appreciate her point of view, I couldn’t help but wonder how many people feel this way. I myself use these common phrases. However, my intent is not to waste anyone’s time but to merely show respect and concern for the recipient. To me, it’s almost like saying “bless you” to a stranger who sneezes. Sure, you don’t know them, but you’re just a caring, polite human being.
Then I started to wonder if this communication preference might differ based on geographical location. In an article from INC.com, Freshbooks conducted research that ranked all 50 states in order of politeness. I must say that I found it amusing that a Canadian company did the research and found some of the results to be surprising. Georgia has a ton of transplants from northern states like Ohio and, oddly enough, Toronto, so I believe that may have skewed some of the results there. Nevertheless, it’s an interesting read and proves that there’s no one way to communicate with the masses.
All that being said, my point of view, in case you’re wondering, is to know your audience/recipient. If you’re emailing someone more “to the point,” keep your email short and sweet. If you’re emailing someone who would appreciate the “I hope you’re doing well” greeting, then use it. If you are super close to a coworker and you’re privileged to details about their work/personal life, start an email by asking them how their weekend went with their cats and crazy uncle. It’s that simple.
Instead of thinking about how you’d like to be communicated to, think of what others would respond best to. Understanding these different communication style preferences can help foster better relationships with friends, family, and coworkers.
How many of you agree or disagree? I would love to know where you stand on this topic!
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Anna is an author and writer who is passionate about the art of storytelling. She enjoys connecting with small businesses in her community while taking their marketing efforts to the next level of growth.