I’m still shocked by what people will put in an email message. Emotion often prevails, despite the fact that people in professional jobs have generally been cautioned that their emails can be monitored by employers, are discoverable and could be hacked. You only have to look to employees at Sony for recent examples of this phenomenon.
One piece of email advice I consistently provide friends and colleagues is to never, ever hit the Send button when you’re angry. “Put down the mouse and step away from the computer” and “Don’t put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the Wall Street Journal” are the warnings I give about potentially career-ending emails.
Elizabeth Danziger, founder of Worktalk Communications Consulting and author of Get to the Point: Painless Advice for Writing Memos, Letters and Emails Your Colleagues and Clients will Understand, has additional advice. Ms. Danziger provides four steps to follow when you’re upset, feel you must reply, but want to achieve results rather than just vent.
Read Elizabeth Danziger’s post, Email Tone: What If you Really Are Angry?