Friday, October 22, 2010

How To Prevent an Email Gaffe

The meaner and snarkier the email, the more likely you are to screw up. If you can't help yourself writing nasty messages, consider building in some protective measures.
Take note about the "reply all" button and the autofill function before sending your message. Fortunately, they can be turned off in many email programs. Another trick is; - when forwarding a message, always scroll down all the way to the bottom to make sure you aren't sharing something that could get you in trouble.

If you're tempted to fire off an angry or emotional message, compose it first on a word document format to reduce the chance of hitting the "send" button before you've really analyzed things through. If in a few hours or days that you still want to send the message, email it to yourself first. It might just surprise you to find out how sobering it is to read your message in email form.

Stay away from one-word replies which can be terribly deflating. Just think how you'd feel if you sent your boss a heartfelt, page long email detailing a project you're excited to work on and replied on you, "Sure". Don't do that to others!

Email can dull down every sentiment. For this reason, use an exclamation point even if you aren't usually the type. It kicks the tone up a notch. No need to go overboard with multiple exclamation points.

If it so happened you've sent someone an insulting email, apologize the right way by writing an email then follow the apology in person or at the very least, on the phone.
If it's a "reply all" situation, let her decide whether she wants to broadcast your apology to everyone. Sometimes, that just calls more attention to the situation, so leave it up to the injured party, - it's the least you can do.