Even the most likable and well-mannered among us can still look like jerks in an email. Writing an email that comes across just like you do in person is a fine art.\r\n\r\nDuring a conversation, you adjust your tone, facial expression, gestures and posture in order to fit the mood of what you\u2019re conveying. You do this because people tend to be much more responsive to\u00a0how\u00a0you say things than to\u00a0what\u00a0you actually say.\r\n\r\nEmail strips a conversation bare. It\u2019s efficient, but it turns otherwise easy interactions into messy misinterpretations. Without facial expressions and body posture to guide your message, people look at each word you type as an indicator of tone and mood.\r\n\r\nMost of the mistakes people make in their emails are completely avoidable. The following list digs into these subtle mistakes and hidden blunders.\r\nThe Compulsive CC And Reply All\r\nCCing people all the time is one of the most annoying things you can do via email. I\u2019d say it\u2019s the most annoying, but this honor is bestowed upon the excessive \u201creply all.\u201d If someone sends an email to you and a bunch of other people, do you really think every recipient needs to get another email from you saying \u201cthanks\u201d? They don\u2019t, and when you do this, it sends people climbing up a wall.\r\n\r\nThe trick for knowing when to CC someone is to treat your email as if it\u2019s an in-person meeting. The question then becomes this: \u201cWould it be necessary or helpful to have this person come to the meeting?\u201d If the answer is no, then don\u2019t waste his or her time with an email. As for reply all, just don\u2019t do it. Even if someone else in the thread replies all, you\u2019re still annoying everyone to death when you join the fray. If you have something to say, it\u2019s better to send this directly (and privately) to the original sender and let him or her decide if the group should know about it too.\r\nThe Way-Too-Brief\u00a0\r\nAll too often, the cause of email conflict is an imbalance between the effort in the initial email and the effort in the response to that email. When someone types up a detailed paragraph outlining important issues, they expect you to respond carefully. Sending back \u201cGot it\u201d or \u201cNoted\u201d just doesn\u2019t do the trick. Without knowledge of your intent and tone, brief responses come across as apathetic and even sarcastic to the receiver. This is unfortunate because this is rarely the sender\u2019s intent.\r\n\r\nThe best way to avoid being misinterpreted in a brief response is to share your intent. Even responding with \u201cI\u2019m a little busy but should be able to read it later this week\u201d comes across much better than \u201cGot it,\u201d which a lot of people will interpret as indifference.\r\nThe \u201cURGENT\u201d Subject Line\r\nSubject lines that say \u201cURGENT\u201d or \u201cASAP\u201d show complete disregard for the recipient. If your email is that urgent, pick up the phone and give the person a call. Even in the rare instance when an email actually is urgent, labeling it as such in the subject line is unnecessary and sets a strong, negative tone.\r\n\r\nThe key to avoiding \u201cURGENT\u201d subject lines is twofold. First, if the issue is best dealt with in any form other than email, then that\u2019s how you should be dealing with it. Second, if this is not the case, then the issue lies in your ability to create a strong subject line. After all, people check their email frequently, so as long as your subject line catches their eye, it will get the job done. Instead of labeling the email as urgent, ask yourself why the email is urgent. The answer to this question is your new subject line. If a client needs an answer today, then simply make your subject line \u201cClient Needs Response Today.\u201d This maintains the sense of urgency without setting a rude, desperate tone.\r\nThe Debbie Downer\r\nSending emails that consistently tell people what they do wrong and what they shouldn\u2019t be doing really takes a toll. Even if you are trying to offer constructive criticism, you need to avoid negativity in your emails at all costs. Since people are unable to hear your tone directly, they read into the connotations of words and create a tone in their head as they go along. Negatives become especially negative in email form.\r\n\r\nWhenever you find yourself using negative words like \u201cdon\u2019t,\u201d \u201ccan\u2019t,\u201d \u201cwon\u2019t\u201d or \u201ccouldn\u2019t,\u201d turn them into positives. Making this change transforms the entire tone of the message. For example, instead of saying, \u201cYou can\u2019t complete reports like this in the future,\u201d say, \u201cNext time you complete a report, please\u2026\u201d When you must deliver negative feedback, don\u2019t do it in an email. Just hop on the telephone or walk down the hall.\r\nThe Robot\r\n\u00a0It\u2019s easy to think of email as a way to get something done quickly, but when you do this to the extreme, you come across as inhuman. You wouldn\u2019t walk into someone\u2019s office and hand them a report to do without acknowledging them somehow. Jumping straight into the nitty-gritty might seem like the most effective thing to do, but it leaves a lasting negative impression.\r\n\r\nFixing this one is simple. Just take an extra second to greet the person you\u2019re writing to. You don\u2019t have to ask your recipient about his or her weekend. Just a simple acknowledgment of the individual as a human being is all it takes. This keeps the tone much more respectful than it would be if you were to simply send assignments.\r\nBringing It All Together\r\nThe trickiest thing about emailing is making certain that people perceive your message the way you intend them to. You must be socially aware to pull this off. That is, be willing to take the time to consider how things look from your recipient\u2019s perspective before you hit \u201csend.\u201d\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout The Author\r\n\r\nDr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of\u00a0TalentSmart, the world\u2019s leading provider of\u00a0emotional intelligence tests\u00a0and\u00a0training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.