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Anger is Okay; But an Angry Email can be Devastating

The advent of internet has revolutionized the way we communicate and get things done. These days, it is almost impossible to do any bit of communication and carry out assignments in the workplace without using the email. However, because the workplace, just as most human gatherings, is an epicenter of human interaction, frictions and road blocks in the process of such interactions cannot be said to be out of place. As a matter of fact, they have become a part of normal work relations and most often than not, the email is often used as a platform to iron out such differences. But, I dare say never should you fall to the temptation of using the email – official or unofficial – to settle scores in the office. If you have already crossed that bridge, then the rest of this article should help you out.

After sending the email you should go immediately to your colleague’s desk and apologize. A follow-up email might also help in this regard. Don’t just sulk at your desk and think about what to do. In addition, tell your immediate boss about it. Sometimes, bosses can be outrightly mean, but they can also be of immense help in cases like this. So approach your boss and explain your actions to him.

Furthermore, do not repeat the same mistake. Small, unresolved conflicts lead to big problems. It can take just one email to cause severe collateral damage. As such, when you are at loggerheads with a colleague and you feel the need to clarify your position in an email, reread it at least once before sending. You can also use the Undo Send feature in Gmail, which allows you to cancel a new email before it’s actually sent – there’s about a one-second delay.

Most important, you must understand that the email is not a tool for anger or outbursts (of course), or for dictatorial commands to the people you work with. It is also not a tool for deep discussion. Instead, it is a way to communicate more intentionally, to make plans, and to summarize a topic. Therefore try to set your emotions aside before ever typing up a message as one angry email can ruin a project – or even a career – if you’re not careful with your words.

Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell