Do you recall being at work and receiving that one email that almost made you quit your job? You are not alone!
Trust me, we’ve all been there!
I decided to write this blog because I noticed that there are not many articles that discuss email conflict in the workplace. Considering that most people communicate via email in the workplace, I felt that this would be a great blog to publish. I am going to share with you, 5 great strategies that I’ve used to help deal with conflict in the workplace.
An example of email conflict in the workplace (My personal experience)
It was a beautiful Monday morning at the office……ok I’m lying. I hate Mondays! You blink and before you know, it’s a new work week. Therefore, I was already somewhat in my feelings because it was Monday, and I would’ve much rather been in bed getting my beauty rest lol. As usual, I made my morning tea, waved good morning to my team, and began to check my emails. Everything looked good considering it was a Monday. THANK GOD!
As I continue with my morning checklist, I see Skkrrrrrrrrrrr
I was shocked to see a very disrespectful email from one of my team members. She had me all the way messed up. For a moment, I thought I was over exaggerating, but even my other coworker felt the heat in the email. And what made matters worse; this chick copied my manager in on the email as well. Really?????? The issue she was referring to was so minor. A brief phone call or even a Skype message would’ve solved her problem.
I had to text my BFF and vent. I mean, who does she think she is??? After my venting session, I looked back at the computer screen and began writing my reply email.
Now honey, one thing I know how to do, is craft a nice nasty email. So I began to do what I do best! In the most professional and correct way, I replied to her email and copied in my manager. Let’s just say, that was the last time I received an email like that from her!
There can be a lot of different causes for email conflict in the workplace, such as miscommunication, tension, and late responses. Understanding the cause of the conflict is beneficial! Knowing why the conflict occurred could potentially help you in the resolution process.
Strategies to resolve email conflict in the workplace
1. READ SLOWLY
Read the sender’s email a few times to make sure you understand the context of the email. Many times we miss the point of an email due to our emotions.
2. CHECK THE FACTS
Is the information in the sender’s email valid? Use your resources and research the issue at hand. This will help you build your case in your reply email.
3. STATE YOUR CASE
Incorporate your research by including any previous emails or documents that provide a foundation for your clap back. If you have proof to help state your claim, use it in your email. Use them receipts!!!!
4. CHECK FOR ERRORS
In the heat of the moment, our fingers are typing like crazy and mistakes happen. Be sure to proofread your email and check for grammatical errors. Check your tone as well! Make sure the email is polite and is not offensive. Emails can be interpreted in so many ways because we are behind a computer screen. Without the presence of body language, it is easy to misinterpret a person’s message.
5. DO NOT COPY IN THE ENTIRE COMPANY
When you send a clap back email, remember to only include relevant parties. People get beside themselves and believe that it is okay to include every CEO in the company. DO NOT DO IT! Email etiquette is extremely important! (link) It is very unprofessional to copy in colleagues who have absolutely nothing to do with the situation. Simply reply to the original recipients of the email and incorporate any missing parties that could be directly impacted by the information that is in the email.
Be the bigger person
One of the oldest sayings in the book is to treat people the way you want to be treated. I could have easily let my colleague have it, but I decided to be the bigger person. You can get your point across so easily by killing someone with kindness. It is very easy to snap and send a message. But it takes real maturity to put your pride to the side, process your thoughts, and then proceed with sending your message.
You never know what someone is going through
I always take a moment and ask myself, will my words negatively impact someone’s mood.
It could be deeper than you think. Always remember to THINK BEFORE YOU HIT THE SEND BUTTON. In the heat of the moment, we all can lose every ounce of home training we were ever taught due to someone being disrespectful. But, instead of allowing the negativity to get the best of you, do yourself a favor, and take the high road. Misery loves company, but you do not have to be the one to entertain it!
You are a work in progress
Communicating via email in the workplace has its challenges, but do not get discouraged. Considering that you took time out of your day to find a solution to your problem is awesome! All it takes is making the first step.
Comment below and tell me about your unforgettable email experience