Avoid writing emails and making phone calls when you’re angry, upset or frustrated. Instead, meet with the person or phone them to sort issues amicably and quickly.
Consider this scenario…
Person 1 – feeling uneasy/unhappy with something person 2 has done/said (or not done/said) spends 30 mins (or more) crafting an email to make sure all points are covered and to leave recipient in no doubt as to what his/her feelings are.
Person 2 – instantly feels anger and either writes back straightaway with similar venom, or has a sleepless night (takes it out on wife/husband/cat/anything in sight) then crafts a reply which takes an hour to write and covers off all those points with equal and matching data to back up his/her point of view.
Person 1 – reaches higher anger levels and takes an hour and a half to write back with increasing adjectives, judgements and opinions – and copies in his/her boss to boot.
Person 2 – goes for a cigarette break (despite not being a smoker), sounds off to others to gain some allies and then sends allies off to spread the word.
Person 1 – experiences palpitations whilst reading the next email and goes off to…. ETC, ETC.
A bit of a far-stretched story, maybe – but you get the picture! So what can we do to avoid ‘flame’ email wars?
Tips for avoiding Flame Wars:
Penelope Newton-Hurley is a Communication Troubleshooter,Consultant, Trainer and Mediator
The Communication Troubleshooter helps drive engagement and performance through Emotional Intelligence and CommPassion© Communication techniques.
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