How many of us have experienced embarrassing moments in the workplace? If you could see me, I’m raising my hand. We are human and making mistakes are inevitable. It’s called life.
There are some Smart Solutions Strategies™ to make wrongs right so you won’t stay in the lane of embarrassment.
Let’s concentrate on email mistakes. According to an AOL survey of 4,000 respondents, 32 percent of respondents at one time mistakenly forwarded an email to an unintended recipient. Some things you just can’t take back; and, a sent email may be one of those if you can’t retrieve it through technology.
First Smart Solution: If you sent an email to an unintended recipient and the email is less than flattering about the company or an individual, head for the person’s office or pick up the phone and engage in one-on-one damage control. You must first explain to the person who received the wrong email you were out of order for sending it. Secondly, you have to clear up all problems you have with the person you were bad mouthing. It’s that simple. Don’t justify your wrong actions. Be honest, clear the air with the person who you targeted and pray for forgiveness. In the future, don’t use the Internet to defame other people or inappropriately criticize your company.
Next I will address responding abruptly to an email before you have an opportunity to think it through.
Second Smart Solution: After you have responded in less than a cordial manner to someone with whom you were frustrated or angry, own your mistake. Speak directly to the person and let them know if you received this type of email which you sent, you would also be upset. Fess up and explain that your actions were less than professional. Right your abruptness with an apology. Immediately assure the email receiver of your new policy: Talk it over to gain understanding and clarity so frustration doesn’t mount.
Lastly, I’ll address passing on rumors via email.
Thirst Smart Solution: If you have passed on a rumor via email, the only way you can right the wrong is your action. Immediately apologize for the less than professional action. Share your new policy: Check facts and verify the source before anything comes out of your mouth or from your fingers on the keyboard. Some things can’t be explained and rumors are one of those which you don’t need to harp upon. Also, I would circle back to your manager and explain what occurred and how you will check your facts before disseminating information. This is called engaging in character building.
In Review: When sending a less than flattering email to an unintended recipient, wrong the right by apologizing to the email recipient and the person who you were discussing. Admit you were in the wrong and in the future, don’t use the Internet to defame other people. Secondly, when responding to people via email in an abrupt manner, right the wrong by directly apologizing to the person and establish you will first come to the person when you are not in agreement. Lastly, if you have passed on a rumor via email, cover your basis with your manager and the email recipient. You owe both an explanation and recognize you need to build your character with both. The Internet is powerful. Use it wisely and understand you can rarely take back what you’ve put out.