Well+Good

Follow this email template to get your boss to reply within 5 minutes flat

Photo: Getty Images/valentinrussanov

Sending a flawless email is kinda like the fine art of the workplace: Your sign-offs, pronouns, and overall tone all matter. If you want to ensure that your boss answers your message ASAP though, there’s one easy trick you’ll want to keep in your back pocket: Start your email with an easily answerable yes or no question. Or in other words: Propose an answer (one that you also might like) and give them the ability to green light it or offer a different solution.

Although your instinct may be to follow your salutation with a bit of small talk (How are you?), one writer from The Cut says that front-loading your email with a super-simple inquiry will signal to your boss that this query will only take five seconds to answer. Then include any clarifying information. By proposing a possible solution within the email, the whole exchange is a low-lift for the person in charge, and gets you the answer you need ASAP.

To make your correspondence skills even more effective, she also recommends swapping every “can” with “could you please,” and every “will” with “would you.” This will make your digital persona seem nice and patient—even if you needed her approval, like, yesterday. And finally, super urgent emails actually merit a starting statement instead of question, so tell your boss that it’s a big priority or that it’s time sensitive from the get-go. And there you have it: You just became the boss of your own email account.

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