Thursday, March 6, 2008

two laws of email

Have you sent emails that you wish you could recall?-
(recall for real, not the lame recall built in to Outlook).

I have tried hard to follow these rules for years but just yesterday I was a bad boy....

Law # 1: If your email has the possibility to illicit a negative emotional response then don't send it. Deliver it in person or at least via phone so you have a chance to reconcile in real time.

Law #2: If you break law # 1, apologize asap.

1 comment:

bbergman said...

It's definately painful. You always know the instant you hit send - the way a bowler can feel a strike coming as s/he releases the ball - and you can never be confident that the e-mail won't get read.

We recently implemented a hosted CRM, which forced me to be much more careful in this regard. What I've been doing, whenever I feel ambiguous about the impact a message might have, is to write the e-mail but not send it. I save it as a draft. Usually I end up rewriting it, or calling, or the emotion dissipates before I feel compelled to send it.