Yep. You know what I mean. You clicked on this post because you expected to find a funny story…or one of those illustrations where you could feel sorry for “that guy” because you’ve been there yourself.
Here is the secret to avoiding an email disaster. If you can absorb this truth, you will never, ever suffer that experience again.
- When people write their emails, they are expecting the reader to give them the benefit of the doubt, and use the most optimistic interpretation for what was meant.
- When people read their emails, they usually remember their worst experience with the writer, and have the most pessimistic interpretation for what was meant.
So, when you meant to offer humor…they heard sarcasm. When you meant to offer advice, they heard you deliver criticism. When you meant to share your feelings, they heard your anger and bitterness.
The next time you write your email, consider this as you write. Recognizing that others may interpret the most pessimistic version of what you are trying to say, lighten up your tone and give your best energy to how you say it…not what you say.
Thanks for listening.