How to Avoid Anger and Misunderstanding via Email
Whether you have fellow employees with which daily interaction is required or simply use email to communicate with friends and family, it can be frustrating at times when certain email-related interactions take place. We may feel ignored, disrespected or otherwise insulted via certain exchanges, but most of the time, no negative statements or feelings were intended by the sender. Unfortunately, email often lacks the ability to convey all emotions, and this can in turn lead to misunderstandings, resentment and indifference in many cases. If you wish to avoid anger and frustration over your emails, then continue reading to find out about the most common causes.
Be Sure to Reply
Over half of all respondents in a recent survey reported that the biggest reason for frustration or resentment via email was derivative of unresponsive recipients of email. While not all emails require a reply, in many cases, work-related or personal emails should at least be acknowledged. If you do not currently have time to read the email or are pinging on iPhones or other mobile devices, then it is still a good idea to shoot the sender an email to let them know that you have received it and will review it later. This simple action can help avoid the majorities of misunderstandings and misconceptions surrounding email in the work place or between friends.
Don’t Be Late
The next most common complaint from individuals who use email to communicate is the amount of time it takes to receive a response. In some cases, we may become laissez-faire and take days to respond to an email that is perceived to be low-priority. This type of attitude is also perceived by the sender as their concerns or comments not being worthy enough of a fast response. Again, simple acknowledgement of the email can go a long way toward preventing a conflict or misunderstanding, so long as you issue a prompt response that alerts them to your current situation and schedule.
While many people do not appreciate those who critique or follow-up with tons of questions, interest in the sent email can be a great way to prevent any misconceptions from arising in an exchange or further communication. If you have any criticism or corrections to provide, then be sure to also “sandwich” them in between compliments and interest in the subject at-large. Someone who simply responds to an email to provide information on typos or factual inconsistencies will always be viewed with contempt. These conditions can be very vitriolic in the workplace, so strive to be a better person when providing any dissenting feedback.
Don’t Act Like the Police
Many people type out emails while they are pinging on iPhones or tablets: typos and other common spelling mistakes can be common. Sometimes, people simply make errors. Whatever the reason, it is usually not your place to respond to emails to address misspellings or typos – unless it directly pertains to a project or the email subject (for example, a typo on a promotional brochure that is being proofread). Needless interrogation about the subject is also a big no-no; if the individual has addressed a subject in a general or limited fashion, then it is not appropriate to bombard them with detailed questions until asked for otherwise.