E-mails are one of the daily activities that we use daily in our professional life. It becomes the best way to keep the record of all the conversations we had with our clients, colleagues, clients, and with management. Even for the approvals, most of the times we don’t even need the printouts and signatures on the same, a simple ‘Approved’ e-mail reply also works well.
However, sometimes, it also leads to unnecessary conflicts among the co-workers. The language we use to convey our message, the content we decide to mention in the mail, and the people we mark the mail to can be the reason to get offended. Just think a little about any of your past experience if you have ever experienced such a situation where you get irritated by a message or got misunderstood, or if any of your mail worsens the case that could be solved cleverly. If yes, here are few tips you should consider before getting trapped in e-mail clashes.
Prefer Face to Face discussion. It is always better if you go to the concerned person and talk face to face to avoid any further misunderstandings. Most of the times, it turns out to be nothing big like we were thinking. Even if the situation is with your reporting manager, you can always ask for the time suitable for a discussion and clear the doubts if any. Once you start conversing face to face, you can very well judge from the face expression whether the person feels offended or is just sharing the thoughts with a different perspective. You can simply eliminate the chances of any dispute hereon.
Call and Talk. If it is not possible to go and talk in person, there is always an option of talking to a person on phone. Here, you get an advantage of listening to the words, the pitch, the voice module, voice expressions, the concern, and the real thought process behind the text you received. It helps in understanding the ground reality and takes the discussion in a positive way. Make sure when you speak to the person, keep your emotions in control and talk with all the facts that you should prepare well before starting the conversation.
Don’t Argue. When you feel offended, it is always advisable to take a deep breath or better take a break. Think about something else (it could be difficult for the moment, but try) and come back to same e-mail and try to recollect the instances that might have lead to this. If you are replying back or having the conversation, keep it in the tone of a conversation, but not an argument.
Keep the draft unsent. If at all, talking and having a conversation is not possible and e-mailing is the only option available for various reasons, it is advisable to draft a mail and not send it. Yes, you read it right. It is all true that the language we use depends on the mood we are in at the moment. So, keep your reply written and come back to the same after few hours or better the next day all together. Also, try to turn off the autocorrect mode to make sure you read the complete text again. There are 100% chances that you will change the sentences framed, vocabulary used, and the pitch engrossed.
So, always keep it polite yet informative replies backed with facts and figures. Do not ever use the offensive language and try not to defend yourself. And finally, once you pressed the button ‘Send’, make a call and talk over the phone too. In the end, we should focus on not spoiling our professional relationships and keep working in the positive and healthy environment maintaining good fellow relations.