This week the recipient of my help was not a VA but rather a professor from a university in India. He’d approached me to write some articles for their publication on the topic of Virtual Assistance for their students. I felt honoured to be asked.
However, I did find his initial email to me rather confusing and I had to read it several times to really understand his request, or rather it seemed like a demand. Instead of ignoring it or getting annoyed by the email, as I sometimes might do, I decided to help this man improve his written English.
So, I wrote back saying I would like to do the article and then proceeded to give him suggestions on how he could have worded his email in a better way. He’d used words that technically may have been correct, however are never used in the way he used them and it made the sentences seem rather convoluted. He went the long way around to explain something instead of much shorter, clearer phrases or sentences.
We emailed back and forth a few times and each time he thanked me for showing him the correct way for wording something. I also reminded him that acronyms or terminologies he might use in Uni in India might not necessarily be common language where I live and he needed to remember that when making contact with people (this is something we all need to be mindful of).
He was gracious in his responses to me and I hope I have helped him improve his approach style when contacting someone in a language that isn’t his own.