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Real Words that Work - Don’t get sucked into email anger

By Patricia Davies, President, Patricia Davies Communications

Don’t get sucked into email anger 

“How do I answer if I receive an aggressive email?” I was asked during a recent
BA Effective Communications Webinar. Good question. How would you respond to the following (real) message? 

WHY DON’T YOU ASK HIM YOURSELF?

Guideline:
Even though your blood pressure probably rose, and you started devising methods of retaliation, do not follow though with a scathing or sarcastic response. Angry exchanges can easily escalate into relationship breakers, no matter who started the nasty chain. Remember that a series of capital letters equals a shout-in-the-face, and that irate words accompanied by a smiley inflame the situation further. 

Fix:
  • Take as many deep breaths as you need to calm yourself. This process might take a day.  
  • Decide if you need to reply (the example didn’t merit a response).  
  • Fill your answer with neutral information, not emotion. Ask a colleague to check it for tone.  
  • Ask your manager to hold a short team session on appropriate email behaviour.
Let’s all make a spring resolution to take the high road even if others don’t.