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More remote work means more written messages—and more room for miscommunication.

More hybrid and remote work has increased our written communication, via email, IMs, DMs, and texting. The problem with these types of correspondence is that nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions and inflection, are missing, and the underlying tone of the message has to be inferred by the recipient. Unfortunately, the human brain naturally skews toward the negative. Your message may come across as aggressive, condescending, or just plain rude when that was never your intent.

It can be tricky to gauge someone’s tone through an email or Slack message. The team at WordFinder by Your Dictionary studied emails and found some commonly used workplace jargon and terms that come across as passive-aggressive in writing. Whether it’s intentional or not, using them can make others uncomfortable, create tension, or even jeopardize your job.

These 10 phrases were rated as seeming the most passive-aggressive:

  • Please advise
  • Noted
  • Friendly Reminder
  • Will do
  • Thanks in advance
  • Per our last conversation
  • Circling back
  • As per my last email
  • As promised
  • As discussed

While, “I’ll take care of it,” “any update on this,” and “sorry to bother you again” were among the least-used passive-aggressive phrases.

Read the complete Fast Company article BY STEPHANIE VOZZA:

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