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  • Personal Branding Weekly – Bloodied, Beaten by Your Own Hand

    Angry Email photo from ShutterstockDave blew it this week.

    His email response was filled with CAPS, accusations, references to “pent up feelings” – all the things you may want to say but didn’t (which would be the smarter move) –  have now placed in an email where it can live for eternity (and be shared, reviewed and re-read).

    I’ve been there. But, haven’t we all?

    You allow someone to push your buttons and you “go there”.  Something has to be said. Something has to be done.

    Here’s how to stop yourself from bloodying and beating your personal brand up by your own email:

    1. Take a breath

    You’re experiencing emotion.  Take a lesson from Michael Corleone and realize that “it’s not personal, it’s just business”.

    You may have taken it personally.  You might not really know the person who emailed you so you’ve allowed your own personal filter to fill in tone and the cadence of the email.a

    Gather your thoughts and your emotions and come back to decide upon a response, if any is really needed, later.

    2. Write away – get it all out but don’t put anyone’s email in the TO section

    Get it all out. Tell them what you think of them. Pick the email a part.  Highlight, capitalize, quote – do whatever it takes to get all of the anger and hurt out of your system.

    Don’t send it. Don’t address it.

    Leave it in your draft folder and revisit it later after 24 hours.  Time magically gives most of us the clearer thoughts we need to make better decisions.

    3. Let it simmer

    Just leave it alone, for now.  Remember, you have the power to respond or not.  You do not need to react to everything.

    4. Review, edit, review again

    Much like tip number two, you can get all your feelings up. But, then come back after 24 hours and review again with a clearer mind.  Edit what you wanted to say and say it better or delete things that really serve your anger but not you.

    5. Pick up the phone

    If, after you’ve given yourself breathing room, and after you’ve had a chance to write and then to review and edit your email. If it’s over six sentences long, then it’s time to pick up the phone.

    Remember, that 93% of communication is tone and body language, all of which is lost in written form. Perhaps you misunderstood something. Perhaps the filter of your own personal experience has tainted how you received a message or even your mood at the moment can alter what you’re reading.

    Call and speak to them if you think that the relationship is worth preserving.

    Understand that not all relationships are worth preserving.

    For example, the person who Dave blew it with didn’t think the relationship was worth it.  She was a partner and the president of a company doing business with his company. As a customer, she felt she had other choices and didn’t have to respond to his emotional venting.  After all, her company was paying him to do a job.

    Sometimes writing that venting email may get it off your chest but it may also get business (or a connection) off your books.

    Respond instead of react. [tweet this]

    Other tips to help you keep your personal brand integrity intact:

    Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? -Get exclusive access.

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