How to write requests for action that get things done

Ob Sie mit Ihren E-Mails, Memos und Briefen zügig das erreichen, worum Sie bitten, hängt davon ab, wie klar Sie formulieren und wie konsequent Sie das nachverfolgen. Diese Secretary Today-Tipps zeigen Ihnen, wie es geht.

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Many of the emails and letters you write are requests from yourself or from your boss for someone to do something. Often, this is something that people more or less have to do. In other words, it is part of that person’s job. But this does not mean that the person actually will do what you ask them, or that they will do it when and how you want it done. Secretary Today shows you how to write emails, letters and memos that get cooperation.

First, be clear what you want done

In your mind, be very specific about what needs to be done. Your readers will interpret your requests within their own frame of reference, which could be very different from yours. Read more about your frame of reference on the bottom right of this page.

You have to know how much information the person will need. For example, if you ask someone to take out the garbage, will they know that it needs sorting, or will you have to tell them?

How to write a simple request

A simple request is one that your reader should find easy to accept. It
may be a request for information or for action. The information or action
is usually part of his or her job. Complying with it should not pose too
much of a problem.

Paragraph 1

  • Start off with the general request.
  • Mention any deadline or time frame.
  • Say why you are making the request.

Paragraph 2

  • Present the details.
  • Be clear about why you want the job done.

Paragraph 3

  • Thank the reader for their help.

Use these phrases for following up requests ...