You know the feeling.
The one where someone has made you flat out angry and all you want to do is call them or send the meanest email you could possibly write?
We’ve all done this a time or two, but at the end of the day it’s probably not the best way to handle things.
The I’m Angry and You’re an Idiot Email
Play this out with me.
Lets pretend you just wrote an email and told Jake how stupid he is and ripped him a new one.
Do you actually feel better? Maybe for a shimmer of a second, but you likely won’t feel long-term satisfaction. Why? Because you probably still have to work with Jake in some capacity and based on your loving email he’s probably not your biggest fan, which means he’s not going to be on Team You.
Here’s a sample email.
“Jake, you’ve really pissed me off. Why is it that you have to be such an idiot and can’t deliver on your promises? I expect you to deliver tomorrow and if you don’t there’s going to be hell to pay. Stop screwing around and just do your job like a competent person would.”
There’s a better way to do this.
What Fuels the Anger
What I’m about to talk about isn’t easy, and from my standpoint, it’s something that comes natural to the average person. But you don’t want to be average, right?
Think about the moment just before you wrote that nasty email to Jake.
It’s highly likely that you were feeling upset. This feeling was potentially driven by some sort of anxiety that was caused by a missed deadline, a blown budget or any sort of thing.
If you can understand what is fueling your anxiety, instead of firing off that angry email, you should instead send an informative email explaining your situation and how Jake plays an important role in the scenario. Doing so, in theory, keeps Jake on your team and he’s someone that wants to help you.
Here’s a sample email.
“Jake, I’m a scared that this possible delay is going to delay the delivery to my customer. If that happens they are going to be extremely bummed.
I know you’re working hard; is there someone that could step in and help get the project completed today? What your doing is critical for my customer and it will mean a lot to them if you meet the deadline.
If there’s anything I can do to help please let me know.”
This approach shares your fear, sets a third party feeling, highlights Jake’s hard work and the importance of said work to the customer and also offers a helping hand. It’s much more likely that Jake will want to help you after reading this. It’s not human nature to want to let someone down.
The next time you are feeling angry, try to figure out what’s fueling the anger. That’s what you want to communicate.