When you get what appears to be an angry, snarky, or disrespectful email from a client, boss, or colleague, I’ve learned that you should always try to assume the best.
That means assuming that they are not angry, everything’s fine, and you shouldn’t freak out. Instead, reply calmly and respectfully addressing any questions and offering solutions without getting emotional.
But what if they really are mad or being rude to you? They might be, but don’t start there.
Here are 3 reasons why you should always assume the best when it comes to email communication:
Your gut is probably wrong
Insecurity shouts; confidence whispers.
The things we are worried people think about us sound like thunder in our ears and somehow we are so quick to forget the value we offer and the reasons our clients consistently love our work.
If your “gut” is telling you that so-and-so is really mad at you or unhappy with your work, start by assuming that your gut is wrong, because it probably is.
They’ve already cooled off
People speak / write / press send without thinking, and regret it almost as soon as the moment is over.
Most likely, that’s what happened in this case too.
Don’t continue the vicious cycle by replying with another angry, emotional, soon-to-be-regretted email.
Instead, stop the cycle by replying with calmness and respect.
It’s the perfect chance to take the high road
Now is the perfect time to set an example of professionalism and respect. Eventually most people will follow your lead, even if they’re not on board right at the moment.
If you sink to their level now, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever be able to get your communication back into a healthy, friendly tone.