Thursday, December 20, 2012

Replies to angry emails

Our last post featured time replies for emails. This post refers to Netiquette suggestions regarding angry emails and how to reply to them and avoid sending them. Please post any comments, questions or suggestions. Happy sending!

Angry Replies
           Before you react to in anger to an email or respond to one, consider some of the following points and then take appropriate actions.  Remember first and foremost that emails can last forever and that an angry reply will seldom result in anything positive.  The best approach is to consider the three Z’s namely Zero tolerance reaction, Zeal in replying and Zen attitude and tone.  To begin with, it is critical to understand what the cost of a flame war can be to all involved. A flame war is a term often used to describe email arguments which are unfriendly.  Many escalate into increasingly intensive language or tone. The second consideration is by creating a zero tolerance toward situations or persons. It may prove to be far more to lose than to gain.  The first step is to pause and not reply rapidly which will seldom prove to benefit either side (more of a Zen approach or the old count to 10 approach.

        By refraining from using zeal caused by anger, turn this instead into a situation where positives can occur.  Consider the facts which prompted what is or appears to be an angry communication.  Consideration should also be taken for any known or likely reasons that evoked an immediate negative reaction.  Attempt also to visualize before you send a reply how to minimize any further irritation for everyone.  When finally replying after a cooling won session, insure that, no matter what the outcome may be, matters are not made worse.

        Attempt to get clarification, inquire in such a way as to seek further information rather than assuming the worst.  Insure that no additional parties are brought into the communication.  This can scarcely be of benefit for anyone involved and can only exacerbate the situation.  Mail flame wars or multiple back and forth hostile email exchanges end up bringing in additional people and make it far more difficult to resolve what was started.  Keep in mind that it is easier and less painful to resolve what may initially be simple or innocent misunderstandings. 

        Sometimes, it may prove best not to respond to an angry email.  This may provide a useful cooling down interval and let a potentially time consuming and damaging situation dissipate harmlessly.  This situation can also contribute to increase anger from the original sender.  There are several items to keep in mind when weighing this option.  First, determine if a true question was asked or if an answer was asked for.  Secondly, consideration should be given if this is a personal, business or necessary contact to maintain.  Is the person or persons of significance to cause damage or continue a flame war with others you know?  Perhaps the sender was bluffing regarding a situation or blowing off steam.  Any of these considerations might have enough value to provide a logical reason to choose not to reply.

        Finally, if one selects to reply, insure that there is not a clouding of judgment.  Take any steps such as a delay of an hour or even a day to provide for this.  Consider also direct contact.  The personal reaching out and contact may be just the solution.  Additionally make sure all reasonable considerations have been made to understand everyone’s point of view.  Realize that changing  another’s opinion, philosophy, feeling of being misunderstood or underappreciated may simply not be possible. Certainly it is far less possible than more personal methods.

        If and when one does reply they should keep true to the “Zen” of the three Z’s.  Senders should seek to appreciate and understand the position or condition which caused the situation.  When the objective reasoning is in place, then a reply can be created.  Senders should also go over any important items step by step.  Keep the text at a minimum with proper attention given to tone, attitude and normal Netiquette considerations.  Ask if your reply is deemed satisfactory or if it requires more information and inquire if a further response is necessary.

        If a determination has been made that an angry email sender is correct, it is essential to quickly reply and acknowledge what has been in error.  If corrective action needs to be taken, good Netiquette is to clearly state what this is and provide a reasonable timeline and explanation with all the particulars.  If an apology is in order, it is important that it is done without delay.  When this has been accomplished,  a response for status is good Netiquette.  If no response is given do not take offense.  The recipient may believe the matter is closed.  Lastly, decide if it is a reasonable action to inquire again, after an interval of at least several days if all is in order.  (If no response again occurs) state that the matter will be considered closed if no further communication regarding this matter is tendered.  At this point it is best to let the matter rest.

What is the world's most popular password?

1.) guest

2.) user

3.) 123456

4.) letmein

5.) qwerty

The corresct answer is number three, 123456.

Today's question/fact.

According to Google tremds, email is more popular than:

1.) Elvis

2.) Chocolate

3.) Beer

4.) Harry Potter

5.) All of the above

Please check with the next blog for the correct answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment