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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?


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.


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.