How to Write an Email to Your Boss


I am answering a question from my readers today. The question is very simple – How do we write an email to our managers? Well the question might be simple, but the answer might vary from leader to leader. But I will try to provide a guide, based on my experiences.

Email to bossFirst we need to understand the mailbox of a leader.

  • It is always full.
  • They must prioritize.
  • They might even have a secretary screening the emails first.
  • They want to answer all, but might not have time to do so.
  • They have more important tasks.

With this in mind – I will try to create a list:

  1. Do you need to send an email?
    Is there no possibility to talk about this? Can you write the question down and discuss it with your manager when you already have another meeting?  Oh.. it is urgent? Maybe you should use the phone instead?
  2. Keep it short!
    Long emails are met with migraine, and is easily sorted in the: “follow up later category”
    It should take no more than a minute to read and decide. Any longer, it might get sorted out.
  3. Get to the point!
    In combination with number 2. I have read long emails without understanding what the sender really wanted. Give your points first, and explain afterwards if you have to.
  4. Define the action
    In the first line: I need approval – You should consider – Call back to – Remember to book meetings with, Do you have the time for a meeting.
  5. Do you really need your boss on CC and BCC on all of your mails? Come on…
  6. Can anyone else solve your problem?
  7. If you need no response, write it down, use FYI in the subject field.
  8. Ask your boss for preferences.
    People are different, companies are different, your boss might have a total different view on email, some prefer to use email in all communication while others hate email and might even refuse to use it. So if you are a leader, instruct the people about your email preferences.

So consider this first: Is email the right channel for communication? Is the phone, online chat or should you knock on the door? Or discuss it in an upcoming meeting? Or is this more suitable to address during lunch?

And one important point at the end.
Do not skip a step on the corporate ladder. I think you should have a darn good reason to write an email to your boss’s boss. Imagine you addressing a problem, that your boss is unaware off; it can put your manager in a bad spot. I believe that as a team we should all support each other, including your boss. If you have trouble with your boss, I would rather address this to the HR-manager first.

Are you a leader? I would love to hear about your solutions or trouble with email, and how you solved it? Please share in the comment field.

More from my site

  • I hate my job – How to change thatI hate my job – How to change that So you hate your job huh? Going to work at a place where you are unhappy can drive anyone insane. It will affect your life on all areas, and you will eventually become a grump. I do […]
  • How to Make More Money at Work.How to Make More Money at Work. This post is about happiness, even if money apparently cannot buy it. We still need to admit, making too little money, for sure is not fun. Being in debt or not managing to pay your bills […]
  • What to do in troubled times – Happiness and WorkWhat to do in troubled times – Happiness and Work I have been writing on a project lately about finding happiness. I am not sure if it is ever going to be published work, but we all know that happiness at work is extremely important, […]
  • Save a lot of money and get happy customers!Save a lot of money and get happy customers! I am going to show you a few different call center war tactics today. I have succeeded with this simple recipe myself. However it has not always been easy, still the formula is child’s […]

2 Comments on "How to Write an Email to Your Boss"

  1. @Your Boss thanks for visiting my blog. It is nice to hear from a leader that you feel this way too. Make it easy for your manager to read you mail, and you might end up with a positive response. 🙂 Have a great day.

  2. I really agree with an email being short and to the point. I am not a big boss, I am a supervisor and I hate getting emails that are beating around the bush. Just tell me what’s going on and what is it that you want and I will be happy to help. Shortness is a sister of talent, people!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


CommentLuv badge