I hesitated to write this blog, the subject seemed too simple and too obvious, but I have recently seen so many examples of mistakes by others, and committed a couple myself admittedly, that I decided I should. DO NOT SEND AN EMAIL OR TEXT WITHOUT CHECKING IT FOR ACCURACY, RE-READING IT. DO NOT ATTACH ANY DOCUMENT WITHOUT CHECKING IT IS THE RIGHT ONE.
Two simple rules but often not followed – why? Often, you will argue, it is pressure of work. You are trying to move too quickly. PAUSE, remember, communications by you convey to the reader the sort of person you are, and often the reader’s importance to you. You want to come across as thoughtful, measured, faultless. You want the client to feel they matter so much to you that you took time and thought. A sloppily worded email, the wrong attachment, just will not cut it. Even worse, if it is to the other side in a litigation or transaction and you make a mistake it could be disastrous.
Read and re-read your emails and texts before sending. In email you have the luxury of spell check – USE IT. But be aware that spell check cannot pick up everything. For example when you say “We agree…” and you meant to say “We do NOT agree..” Sounds silly but I have seen it done. Be aware that in text you do not have the luxury of spell check. Be aware that in both media, predictive wording may apply and put in the wrong word, if you are not careful.
Attaching documents is another source of concern. Make sure you attach the right version. Make sure all your revisions to it have been properly saved. Open every document before sending and ensure it is the right one. If you are not doing this yourself then make sure your secretary or assistant are following these rules and have clear instructions.
As I said at the outset, I hesitated to publish this blog but my son pointed out some mistakes in my last published blog (now corrected), of the nature I have spoken of here. It is no excuse, but I know that when I re-read my last blog I was tired, just wanted to publish and thinking of many other things. Do not make the same mistakes. The more important the email, the more important it is to check. Sometimes I have even been known to send a draft to a colleague or friend to check, not only for spelling and grammar but also, sometimes, as to how it comes across.
Creating a successful outcome is what we are trying to achieve, if that takes a few minutes or hours more to achieve, I think the time has been well spent.