Assuming Gender in Email
You know what happens when you assume, right?
Anyone who follows this blog knows not to assume anything about our email communications. The fact is that assuming rarely leads to anything positive. That’s why if you are unsure; ask.
For example, assumptions can lead to lost opportunity in the global environment in which we all are now doing business. Notably, assuming by a contact’s name, if they are male or female, can cause you not to make a very good first impression.
Examples of Misgendering
Putting a Mr. in your sig file for first contact would set the record straight. However, that may make you appear more formal than you may prefer. If you are a formal guy — then that’s okay. If not, you could always remove the Mr. on subsequent communications.
I recommend that if someone misidentifies your gender based on your name, kindly send them straight. “By the way, I’m a male. Just thought you would want to know. “
Here’s how one of my readers tries to prevent this with his particular name situation:
When you discover that you’ve made this assumption in error — humbly apologize. Hopefully, you are not the first to do so, and the person on the other side will understand.
Now that I think about it, I always email folks with gender-neutral names (Pat, Chris, Kerry, Robyn, Frances, Kylie, Sam, Joe, Bernie). I’ve never considered gender in communicating with anyone who emails me.
I email everyone the same way as you should.