The Best Three Email Tips You'll Ever Receive
This blog submission is not just for franchisees. It contains universal truths.
But it’s particularly relevant to homecare franchises like Qualicare, because most of our ‘business’ occurs outside our office in people’s homes. This means that a lot of our communication – with clients, employees and other resources – is via email.
The advantage of email is that it’s easy to create and even easier to distribute widely. The disadvantage of email is that it’s easy to create (so you can send it off without much thought) and even easier to be distributed widely (beyond your control).
This can be a problem when your message is negative in any way. Unfortunately, almost all of us get frustrated or disappointed or even upset with people. But emotion, especially negative emotion, clouds good judgment. Luckily, time and/or the instinct to avoid face to face confrontation are useful restraining factors for expressions of negativity, so we let it pass. But the ease with which email by-passes these restraining factors can be a problem.
In a fit of annoyance you can fire off a sarcastic missile with as much physical detachment as the guy in an underground missile silo pressing an ICBM launch button.
But, a short while later, when the emotion subsides, the fallout starts wafting over you. Your email, which you thought would make the recipient see the light, instead provokes a disconcerting defensive response. Plus, it can be forwarded to other people who are more level-headed than you and are unimpressed at your pique. Your email can stay around in folders and personnel files.
Who hasn’t wanted to recall a hastily sent out email? And who has had the Outlook Email Recall feature ever work?
So here are three tips for anytime you feel inclined to fire off an email that has any kind of negativity.
1. If you feel the need to write a negative email, go ahead. The catharsis
of actually composing it may be all that’s required, rather than
letting the feelings fester.
2. DON’T SEND IT! (If you’re replying to an email, delete the return address before starting to compose.) Put it in a special folder. Mine is called ‘Outside the Camp’. Keep it in the folder for 24 full hours before doing anything with it. (It’s amazing what a night’s sleep will do.) Then, and only then, should you consider pressing the Send button. Ideally, however, the email should stay in the folder unsent.
3. At a set time, once or twice a year, go to a Starbucks and introspectively review all the unsent emails in your folder. You’ll be amazed to see that the issues were resolved by themselves or were never even issues in the first place. You’ll be relieved that you avoided creating any animosities because of some unfortunate words. And you’ll feel humbled to see that you allowed yourself to get upset by such trivial things.
In the fullness of time, it’s very likely that you’ll discover that you’ll no longer need to cathart and you will be a better franchise owner and better person.