English for personal assistants - part 5

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20 Communicating with clarity

May I confirm the arrangements for/that ...
Would you please confirm that ...
Please drop us a line if ... (informal).
2 Best-practice emails and working
in multi-cultural teams

Email is rapidly overtaking letter writing as the most common form of written
communication. We tend to transfer our communication style from our native
language to a foreign language. This can throw up cross-cultural issues as email is an
instant form of communication and is often far less formal stylistically than writing a
letter. For example, if we forget to maintain the relationship by just getting straight
down to business, we can alienate the person we are corresponding with. However,
email has many advantages.

Advantages of emails
eliminates phone tag (people out)
allows you to put more time and thought into messages than when phoning
breaks down distance/time barriers
shortens cycle of written communication
allows for more direct/interactive communication
improves productivity e.g., meeting planning and preparation
reduces telephone interruptions
allows people to work from any location with a computer
However, there are also distinct traps you can fall into if you don’t observe some
simple rules. As with letters or faxes, emails can be misinterpreted since there is no
body language or

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