We periodically have wonderful discussions on the forums relating to the spelling and use of English wording. In fact it often provides a constant source of mirth when we discover that a word can mean something completely different in another English speaking country. How does that happen?
Whilst most of the conversations are full of laughter and fun there are times when misunderstandings can occur and some get hurt simply because of the use of a single word. If that can happen on a forum where for the most part we all know each other and have a common goal, how can it affect clients whom we might not yet know very well?
The other day I sent an invoice to a client for the end of the month. The poor thing took that as meaning I wouldn’t do any more work till the invoice was paid. Perhaps I should have written more in my email to him but I hadn’t thought it could be viewed that way and I immediately apologised and explained I’d been very busy but was still active for him.
A VA I know has recently had a challenge with a new client – the quote she’d given had been mistaken as the total amount for the job being performed – instead it was a per hour rate. The client had accepted the rate but the VA had not clearly explained how the quote worked.
Very important that we are clear in our intentions when communicating with people, particularly via email. A word in jest can be taken as a harsh criticism because there is no body langauge accompanying it – that’s why we have emoticons 😉 to try and help convey what we mean.