The best way to address hurt feelings in the workplace is to confront your aggressor face-to-face and in an unemotional and professional tone and share your concerns. Talking things out is the only way to really resolve conflict. Still, most of us don’t relish—or take—this approach. In fact, many turn to a “safer” solution of writing an angry email. Why not? You don’t have to confront your aggressor and you can take the time to write out your concerns and angst behind the comfort of your screen. There, you can feel safe without the stress of confrontation.
I urge you to think twice about this approach.
While it may seem easier to send a harsh note expressing your feelings rather than facing the offender in person, it’s not the smartest course of action. In fact it can seriously damage your career reputation or worse, cost you your friends, family or even your job. That’s right. The impact can be quite severe.
Before you fire off that angry email, consider these three things:
Don’t let your intent be missed.It’s very difficult to interpret true feelings from an email. Remember, we each have our own set of experiences, triggers and emotions that help formulate our biased interpretation of any written message. Instead, write out your talking points focusing mostly on facts. Use this as a guide for expressing your thoughts of concern and desire for resolution when you communicate in person.
Don’t let emotions cloud your judgment. If you’re upset or feel slighted or hurt, the last thing you should do is send an email. We have all received, and sent, our share of emails that we wish we could take back. Sending a note, email or text may feel good in the moment, but it leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. If you feel emotions clouding your thoughts, give yourself a day or two to cool down before taking time to communicate your concerns face-to-face.
Don’t damage your career reputation.It’s difficult to convey, or buffer, your feelings when they’re expressed in an email. First, it’s poor communication etiquette to write lengthy emails. Secondly, when you put your angst or displeasure in writing, it’s a permanent record tied to you. Once you hit the send button your career may be on the line, especially if there were hurtful, damaging, condescending or inappropriate language used. Moving forward think about your relationships and career reputation and how important they are to your success. With those in mind, seek out an elevated and professional way to address conflict.
How To Be Career Happy? Avoid Sending Angry Emails